The Chairman of the Angling Trades Association (ATA) in the UK has expressed his disappointment at the industry’s response to the potential banning of lead weights. The Association placed a questionnaire on its website more than a month ago seeking information from members and non-members to build a case for the way in which any future ban is introduced.
The move followed a request from the EU Commission for the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to investigate the need for a restriction on the use of lead in fishing tackle and ammunition. The information will be used to prepare a better, more informed assessment of different restriction options and the overall scope of the restriction. However, as of this week, not one response had been received. And the situation is compounded by the fact that similar efforts in Europe have also fallen largely on deaf ears.
“I am shocked by the lack of response to an issue that is so important to the tackle industry,” said Andrew Race, ATA Chairman and Managing Director of scales manufacturer Reuben Heaton. “Lead will be banned automatically at the end of 2022 if no valid arguments are raised. We cannot stop the banning of lead in the long term, but the aim is to highlight the potential socio-economic consequences for the sector in terms of economic impact and the number of jobs involved. “That way we may be able to manage the process over a period of time that will allow companies to change working practices and reinvest accordingly.
“Lead will be banned automatically at the end of 2022 if no valid arguments are raised.”
“The ATA will be in constant contact with ECHA throughout the lead consultation process, working to effect the best outcome for the industry and environment. The response to the questionnaire will directly affect those decisions made by the EU. “I spoke to the owner of a medium-sized tackle company recently who believes it will cost £40,000 to retool and work with new materials. What we are trying to get agreement to is a sensible period of transition that will allow businesses to cope with this. We also want to avoid a situation where lead production goes underground and people are producing it in their sheds.”
The questionnaire on the ATA website, email circulars to members and communication on social media and in trade magazines have all failed to garner a meaningful response. The deadline for the questionnaire, which has already been extended once, is the end of this month. “I urge people to respond on this hugely important matter before it is too late,” added Race.
The questionnaire can be found here