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March 10, 2012

MFA statement - "A passion for change........"

Mr. Nigel Griffiths from the MFA (Morrum Fishing Association ) is a man who doesn't just sit back and wait for things to happen, which I respect him very much for. In this case it's the concerns regarding the decline of sea trout and salmon in the once so mighty Morrum river. Over the last couple of years everything have just gotten worse and somehow nothing seems to be done about it. So MFA and Nigel Griffiths is visly advocating a complete change in the management of the fishery.

Seen in that context, here is a statement Nigel and the MFA has posted on the MFA website. Nigel kindly asked me if I would find it interesting to post on the Pool 32 blog as well - to that I can only say "but of course Mr. Griffiths" - since everything I do is in the name of Pool 32 I am of course very interested in bringing this sincere and extreemly relevant statement.

So here it is :

A passion for change

It is expected that the declines of salmon and sea trout in the Mörrumsån will continue well into 2016. Even if the river managers and Karlshamn commune decide to finally implement counter measures to combat the ever increasing declines. We can only hope that the neglect, inactivity and “mind set” will change. As the negativity will have dire consequences for the river well past the year 2016. Without change, the situation will only get worse while good people stand idly by and do nothing. All of which is preventable if changes take place.
There are now, proactive people, NGO’s and the EU commission of fisheries who are now attempting to implement counter measures to prevent the declines to the Baltic salmon and sea trout from getting worse. However, even when the Swedish board of fisheries (HAV) advocate legislation for 2012 with a stop to commercial fishing in some areas of the Baltic Sea…..which still has to be passed by the Swedish Government and still allows river estuary nets to continue fishing. And in essence, the board of fisheries states at the same time that all of which will take up to ten years to implement and see results.
Many experienced and sport fishing personalities have proposed good and well constructed proposals that would help the prevailing situation with the Mörrumsån. These recommendations and proposals are based on the experiences from other rivers that have had the same kind of problems, however, in these cases with successful results. Positive counter measures to the declines of salmon and sea trout to the river would be; compulsory catch and release of all salmon and sea trout until there is positive signs that both species are once again a sustainable resource. A complete stop to the estuary net fishing, as it now seems that these estuary fishermen have no concerns for the river whatsoever.
After many years of talk, rhetoric and inactivity…….two conferences one in 2009 and 2011……nothing has been achieved. Other than the problem going around and around without Sveaskog taking the initiative. Many, myself included, have finally come to terms that the emotive issues we have for the river must be stripped out to finally see the real picture as it is today.
No matter what takes place, the public sector company Sveaskog as a Swedish Government company is tasked with the effective management of the Governments commercial resources. But in the case of the Mörrumsån, and from a business prospective, the management of the fishery has failed in addressing the major issues in a timely manner. In the business sense, and viewed as “due diligence” the fishery is now being mismanaged, and because of gross neglect, Sveaskog have failed to recognize what it takes to turn around the fishery, prevent a corrosion of its brand name, declines of real values in the money spent fishing the river with no positive end in sight. The conclusion would be that the fishery will decline into a terminal situation without a clear and workable strategy in-place. Many have stopped fishing the river, with those that were the real ambassadors for the river leaving and not returning…frustrated, disappointed and with negative thoughts as to the future of the fishery. This continues situation will ultimately have dire commercial effects on the local community at large that rely on the revenues generated from the sport fishermen that fish the river.
There has to be real value in all of this, and sadly that seems to be no longer the case. The only alternative is to change out the managers of the river at a corporate level. And based on what we hear in the past……….half truths, disingenuous statements about good intention people who care for what is happening and what now seems a total disregard for the customers. One can only come to the conclusion that Sveaskog must now turn to another company to set “benchmarks” and manage the river more effectivly before it’s too late.
Nigel Griffiths
For more info use this link to the MFA website.

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