This weekend, coverage of the Environment Agency’s restocking programme which saw a record-breaking weight of fish restocked has featured across national and regional media. The work of the Environment Agency’s National Fish Farm was covered by outlets including BBC Online, the Telegraph and the Yorkshire Post.
The Environment Agency’s National Fish Farm near Calverton reported that 12.3 tonnes of fish were produced at the farm in Nottinghamshire in 2019 – compared with 11.6 tonnes the previous year – an increase of 6%. The farm was also responsible for introducing over seven million (7,600,000) ‘advanced reared larvae’ into the wild.
Heidi Stone, Fisheries Manager at the Environment Agency, said:
“The fish we breed are used for the recovery and re-stocking of rivers and still waters all over the country, so it’s great to see the National Coarse Fish Farm have another record breaking year in the overall weight of healthy fish produced.
“The fish farm’s work is a key example of how we inject income from fishing licence fees directly back into fisheries. The fish they produce play an important role in the Environment Agency’s work to restore, improve and develop sustainable fisheries in England.”
This boost in fish populations follows a period of high temperatures and thunderstorms which had resulted in a number of ‘fish in distress’ incidents across England. EA teams continue to work to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing unsettled weather and have carried out several fish rescue operations.
Alan Henshaw, Team Leader at the National Coarse Fish Farm, said:
“We’re pleased to have had another record breaking year at the fish farm in 2019. By introducing better growing techniques and achieving a good survival rate for the fish, the overall weight of fish we have produced has risen by 6% to 12.3 tonnes compared with the previous year.
“Great care is taken to ensure that every fish we produce is fit for purpose so they can survive when stocked out into the wild. During their 18 months at the farm, we feed the fish live natural food, they encounter a range of flora and fauna, and are trained in flowing conditions while being grown in the earth ponds.”
The National Fish Farm operates throughout the year and carries out vital work needed to help protect and maintain the resilience of our fish and fisheries.
If you see fish in distress, contact the Environment Agency on their incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.