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Anglers urged to make Crucians crucial in national plans for ‘true cru’ fisheries


National Crucian Carp Project Launch Group Shot

The new National Crucian Conservation Project (NCCP), which aims to reverse the decline in crucian habitat and to promote designated and accredited ‘true crucian’ fisheries, was formally launched last week at the Angling Trust Coarse Fish Conference in Reading.

Speakers at the conference included crucian champion and ‘Crock of Gold’ author Peter Rolfe who has been developing crucian ponds for over 40 years and Dr Carl Sayer from University College London. Carl has researched the decline of crucian habitat in his native Norfolk and is an acknowledged expert on the species. The NCCP was the brainchild of angling artist and crucian enthusiast Chris Turnbull and the group will be led by the Angling Trust’s campaign chief Martin Salter with secretarial and technical support from the Environment Agency. Also represented on the project committee is the Government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and the Institute for Fisheries Management (IFM).

Over the past thirty years many of the farm and village ponds that were a key habitat for crucians have disappeared and the stocking of a wide range of other carp species in club and day ticket waters has led to inter-breeding and hybridisation which will eventually threaten the survival of the species.

The primary objectives of the NCCP are to:-

• Promote the conservation of the species and its habitat

• Encourage the development of well managed crucian fisheries

Martin Salter, Angling Trust National Campaigns Coordinator said: “The positive feedback that the Angling Trust has been getting to this initiative shows that there is real enthusiasm out there and that angling clubs and fishery owners are waking up to the fact that unless action is taken we are in danger of creating a king carp monoculture. This would not only be bad news for crucians but would threaten the rich diversity of coarse fishing that should be available to all in England and Wales.

Peter Rolfe added: “It is three years now since the Angling Trust awarded me the Fred J Taylor Award for my work with crucians. I hope that my book and website have helped to inspire a long-lasting revival in the species’ fortunes and I am delighted that the Trust, the Environment Agency, scientists and so many enthusiasts are now working together to conserve this beautiful but threatened fish.”

Chris Turnbull said: “Only a few years ago it dawned on me that crucian carp had become so rare in Norfolk where I live, that they were on the verge of extinction. On taking my concerns to the Angling Trust, they agreed to start a campaign to conserve crucians and the National Crucian Conservation Project was born. Having finally brought together many of the UK's experts on crucians we are finding that everywhere we look anglers and fisheries share our concerns about the plight of this fabulous fish and are wanting to do something about it”.


Downloads below: 

1. High Resolution Photograph of launch (l to r) Martin Salter, Gordon Copp (CEFAS),Malcolm Richardson (Godalming AS), Daniel Jefferies (University of Hull), Mike Holcombe (Godalming AS), Chris Turnbull, Dr Carl Sayer, Mark Owen (Head of Freshwater - Angling Trust)

2. NCCP Logo

Notes: National Crucian Conservation Project – Aims and Objectives

The National Crucian Conservation Project is a group of representatives from public, academic and voluntary sector organisations and individuals who share a common interest in furthering the status of Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) in the UK.

The primary objectives of the project are to:-

• Promote the conservation of the species and its habitat

• Encourage the development of well managed crucian fisheries

The resulting benefits will include: improved understanding and protection of ‘wild’ or ‘pure’ crucian stocks; more opportunities to catch the species; and better sharing of information on lake and pond conservation.

Some suggested outputs and/or aspirations are:-

• A regional network of growing on centres to increase the availability of wild crucian stocks

• A ‘pure’ crucian accreditation scheme

• Factsheets and DVDs on creating and managing waters, avoiding hybridisation and a crucian ID guide

• Courses or events for fishery owners and managers

• Create ‘Crucian Champions’

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