Fish experts and enthusiasts from around the UK recently attended the tenth annual Coarse Fish Meeting at Sparsholt College to consider the many issues impacting fishery businesses and the industry both locally and nationally.   Coarse fishery managers and farmers, fish health specialists, fishery consultants, angling clubs and their members, equipment suppliers, the Environment Agency, CEFAS and Government agencies attended the event which had been organised by Bernice Brewster of Aquatic Consultancy Services and Viv Shears of the College’s Fishery Studies Faculty.

Viv, formerly a Fishery Studies Lecturer at Sparsholt said: “Both Bernice and I are delighted with the success of the meeting this year and indeed over the previous 10 years which the College is proud to host in its leading industry facilities. Delegates year on year have been very positive about the presentations and found the information gathered from the event useful in the management of their fish related operations. ”

Speakers from CEFAS Fish Health Inspectorate, Aquatic Consultancy Services and Skretting updated delegates on the latest industry developments from current disease investigations, practical fish health issues and monitoring these in fisheries to the latest coarse fish diets and the benefits of feeding immune stimulants during certain periods of the year.

From fish to insurance and plants with Sunderland Marine Insurance Company giving an insight into fish stock insurance policies and the Environment Agency looking at various non-native plant species that are appearing around fisheries and how control methods are being investigated and put into practice.

Martin Salter, former Reading West MP and now Campaigns Coordinator for the Angling Trust, concluded the day with an impassioned insight into the Trust’s recent work and also their Crucian Carp Project which is working with angling clubs to create fisheries that are suitable for this species that has undergone a decline in numbers over recent decades.

Many of the attendees enjoyed a first class social evening before the main meeting and a fine BBQ sponsored by Skretting, the country’s leading Fish Food manufacturer. While at Sparsholt delegates had the opportunity to look around the College’s top class Fish facilities including the National Aquatics Centre, the Salmonid Rearing and Trials Centre and the College Coarse Fishery.

Viv Shears concludes: “The planning of the next event in 2016 is already underway and we have a number of fantastic speakers already lined up from various sectors of the coarse fish industry.”

Sparsholt College offers a number of full and part time Fishery courses from the MSc Applied Aquaculture and Sports Fisheries Degree to an Apprenticeship in Fish Husbandry and Fish Management.

For more information please call 01962 776441 or visit www.sparsholt.ac.uk.