Richard Holden MP and Dehenna Davison MP were recently invited to the River Wear, accompanied by several local stakeholders, to engage in a constructive dialogue regarding the pressing issues of illegal fishing and pollution.
Having endured two centuries of heavy industrial activity, the River Wear had sadly transformed into one of England’s most polluted waterways. However, thanks to the dedicated efforts of numerous local stakeholders, many of whom were present at the meeting, a remarkable transformation has taken place over the past decade.
A comprehensive clean-up campaign has successfully revitalized the river, making it a shining example of environmental progress and positioning it among the nation’s most impressive success stories.
However, while water quality in the river has improved greatly in recent years, illegal fishing still poses a massive problem. It is a blight on our area. Not only is it highly damaging to the rural economy but it also has a huge environmental impact. As a result, it is extremely damaging to our wonderful migratory fish and their beautiful habitat.
Where there was zero Salmon in the river once upon a time, our local River Wear is now regarded as one of the very best rivers in the country for migratory fish. It needs to stay that way, where not so long ago there was no hope. However, there is still a way to go to see the rivers frothing with fish as they once were. It’s brilliant that everyone is working together on this issue with this goal in mind.
Commenting, Richard Holden MP said:
“It’s great to be at the beautiful River Wear with my friend, colleague and Parliamentary neighbour Dehenna Davison MP. Thanks for inviting me again to see all the great work going on with such a wide variety of committed local groups looking to clean up the river even more and banish the blight of illegal fishing.
“The Government has being doing so much great work in this area to clean up our water. In addition to huge fines and sentencing for breaches, water monitoring has increased from 6% 10 years ago to 100% by the end of this year3. While there is clearly far more to do, pollutant loads have decreased by 70% since 19953.
“It’s great to see that these local groups are building on the fantastic effort in Westminster and making a real difference locally local groups. I can’t wait to see what the next five years has in store for the River’s migratory fish!”
Commenting, Dehenna Davison said:
“The River Wear is so important to our local area. I am delighted to see the enormous progress that has been made in improving the water quality in recent years but, clearly, there is more that can be done.
“I am so glad to see so many different people and organisations attend today. Only if everyone pulls their weight will we see the progress that local residents and wildlife expect.
“Both Richard and myself in Government have been doing loads of work to improve water quality nationally. It’s great to see this translate to the local level and look forward enjoying the fruits of this in the River Wear in the months and years to come.”