In the "Meet the anglers" series we will present you the European Anglers Alliance's Member Societies, their activities and objectives. The first article of the series is about Sportvisserij Nederland, the Dutch national association for angling which represents 900 local angling clubs and counts 570.000 affiliated anglers.
The headquarters of the association are situated in Bilthoven. From there, Sportvisserij Nederland deals with several activities such as policy advocacy, creation of educational programmes for youngsters, organisation of monitoring activities for water quality and fish stocks, drafting and editing publications of different magazines on angling and managing all The Netherlands’ angling fishing permits. Sportvisserij Netherlands has a strong expertise in the field of fisheries biology, aquatic ecology and resource management. As they said in their website “a healthy fish stocks in a healthy water is in everyone's interest”.
Several activities are carried out thanks to the work of thousands of volunteers that keep the local clubs active and well managed. Moreover, some volunteers perform control tasks in order to ensure that anglers respect the laws and the rules. Fishing inspectors must follow a training, provided by Sportvisserij Nederland and to pass an exam before being able to carry out their control duties. On top of that, specific courses are organised for police officers for a better enforcement of the existing rules.
2 billion people practice angling in the Netherlands and create a big socio-economic value through jobs, angling shops, hotels, restaurants, fish stock management activities, etc. Moreover, anglers are involved in activities directed to the protection of the environment through fish stock management.
According to them, the stock is a measure of the way the environment is dealt with. If the fishes are well and healthy, it means that the water and the aquatic environment are in good shape.
Dutch anglers insist on the fact that cooperation between different actors is needed in water and fish stock management. During the years, they have built a solid network of relations with nature conservation organisations, farmers, land managers and commercial fishermen. Every stakeholder is invited to bring his knowledge and to share his experience in order to improve the quality of water and aquatic environment. As they recall “water is not only for fish” but “what is good for fish, is good for all the aquatic life”.