Could one of the UK’s most famous cod marks be lost to the sport?

be7685026070406a215779b242f1aa2e L Dungeness Under Threat

One of the UK’s best cod marks could be lost to anglers following a controversial planning application by the Environment Agency and EDF Energy.

Dungeness point, famed for its cod fishing, could be closed to anglers between October and April every year until 2023 if plans to fence of the famous south east mark go through.

Proposed by the EA to allow the area to be used to harvest shingle for use in sea defenses, the move could not only see our sport lose winter fishing at one of its most historic venues but would also have a devastating affect on the local economy – as owner of Dungeness’ Seagull Tackle and local Councilor, Tony Hills explained to Total Sea Fishing.

“The EA have been taking shingle from the beach at Dungeness for a long time but it’s never affected the angling before,” said Tony. “For some reason this time they want to fence off the area which mean no one will be able to get in there for six months of the year and that is what really concerns us.

“If the plans go through not only will it mean we lose one of the best cod fishing spots in the country, but if anglers aren’t coming here it will have a huge impact on the local community in terms of revenue.”

With just 28 days from September 19 to fight to proposals, local club Dungeness Angling Association has launched both an online and paper petition opposing the plans.

“We don’t have long to fight this”, added Tony, who is also on the committee of DAA. “We need as many anglers as we can to sign both online and paper petition which will be available in many local tackle shops and other business who rely on angling for income very soon.”

Total Sea Fishing contacted the EA about the situation, with Flood Defence Engineer for the Kent region Ian Nunn giving concerned anglers some cause to breath a slight sigh of relief.

“The EA does not want to stop anglers fishing Dungeness point and we will work with them to make sure that doesn’t happen,” said Ian. “We have been removing single from the beach at Dungeness for sea defenses for the past 40 years. Over the last 4years however this has been stopped due to Natural England’s concerns over its affect on the local environment.

“We have now worked out a plan with NE so that we can go back to using the shingle on the beach, but as part of the planning application we have had to specify clear boundaries and for health and safety reasons add a paragraph stating that these boundaries will be fenced off.

“This is unfortunate but necessary and in real terms totally unworkable, as for one thing when the tide goes out we will have to put up to half a mile of extra fencing down the beach every day. Therefore we will not be fencing off the entire beach, but as we work we will fence of sections of the beach, again for health and safety reasons. This will also only be within weekly working hours and will have minimal affect on anglers.”

To sign up to the online petition to oppose the plans at Dungeness point click here.