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30 Jun 2017
by CARPology
Illegal importing of carp
Does it still go on?

The big question

Does this still go on to satiate the greed of fishery owners or for the angler wanting huge fish without travelling abroad?

Ian Chillcott, founder of ECHO

“Thankfully, the illegal importation of carp is not as rife as it used to be, but there can be no doubt that it still continues today. Before I get to the meat of the matter, it should be stated that the worst effect of this horrific practice is that the illegal fish can bring in new diseases that our fish have no resistance against, and will often die as a consequence. Indeed, several high profile fisheries have been purposely stocked with illegal, diseased fish to kill the original fish and save the cost of netting them out! Now, although history would indicate that there aren’t many that find this that disgusting, please also think about the carp that died in illegal transportation and that probably amounts to well over 50% of them.

“It’s not the carp’s fault, but the fault of greedy, ignorant and pitifully moronic fishery owners who are prepared to buy them. That said, it must also be stated that the anglers who fish for them are just as guilty as these fishery owners. If you know where they come from then please do something to protect the fish that give us so much pleasure. It’s so dead simple: don’t fish there! Ever!

“These fisheries, although I am loathe to call them that, are conning the people that fish there… or are they? I don’t think so, because the majority of anglers would rather talk about the weight of a fish, no matter what it looks like or where it came from, than its history, and to me that’s the great shame.”

Rob Hughes, angling writer

“Firstly, I’m not convinced that the illegal import of carp is as rife as it used to be, it’s just more organised now. Certainly there are still fish coming into the UK, but the regular smuggling of a few fish in the back of a tranny van to boost a fishery stock are long gone. It’s a lot more sophisticated now and it seems to be the bigger players that are taking the bigger risks for the bigger rewards.

“Why do they do it? Of course the answer is money, as there is a lot of value in big fish. More profit in fact than cigs and booze and almost as much as drugs. As a result the business is serious and there’s plenty of people out there willing to take the risks to make large amounts of month.

“As for who it satisfies, quite frankly I think the majority of carp anglers don’t care, and most of them don’t know anyway, they just want to go fishing for the best sport available to them. In fact, many of the fisheries don’t know either as a lot of the fish have been “netted” from untouched estate lakes and sold on as UK stock. With the fact that old age is naturally killing off our stocks, and also that otters are having such a massive effect on big fish populations I can see the demand for more and more bigger fish increasing not decreasing… and where there is demand, there will be supply.”

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