Fishing banned on Cwmbran canal after swans injured
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
Fishing has been banned on a stretch of canal in Cwmbran after a swans were injured due to fishing equipment being left in the canal.
Torfaen council said that “continuous” unlicensed activity and anti-social behaviour were responsible for the decision made following a recent public consultation.
St Dials ward councillor Elizabeth Haynes said residents had raised concerns after the swans was injured.
Firefighters and wildlife rescuers had come to the aid of an injured cygnet in July last year after it was spotted swimming in distress in the canal with fishing line wrapped around its beak, neck, and leg.
It was said at the time that it was the third swan to be removed from the canal due to lost or carelessly discarded fishing tackle.
The order covers the section of canal covering Broadweir Road, which Torfaen has responsibility for.
Cllr Mandy Owen, the council’s executive member for the environment, said: “It’s such a shame it has come to this especially for those who fish responsibly.
“As a council we have a duty of care to safeguard our communities and wildlife.
“Anyone caught fishing without a licence or acting in an anti-social manner can now be fined by either the council’s civil enforcement officers or Gwent Police community support officers, due to the current Public Space Protection Order being updated.”
Cllr Haynes said the majority of residents were in favour of the ban when asked about the issue in a public consultation.
“I don’t think it’s unreasonable to have 200-metres of a banned area so that the wildfowl can be protected, but also the fishermen still have the ability to fish on the five mile stretch of canal,” she said.
Fellow ward councillor Fay Jones said she also understood the concerns of residents.
“I understand where the local people are coming from if there has been anti-social behaviour,” she added.
“However I am very sad about the state of the canal at the moment and I would like to see it being improved.”
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I’m not an expert at fish or fishing, but surely it is pure torture for the fish having a massive hook in their mouth and being dragged around by it until exhaustion? Why is this continued to be seen as an acceptable thing to do to an animal? Would it be ok to do it to a rabbit or a badger? How about doing it to a dog? Which animal do you know doesn’t have pain receptors and how the hell did they survive evolution as a result?
best way to find out is to shove a fish hook into an angler’s mouth and check out the response. He/she will be able to describe vividly how it feels to be a hooked fish in that situation.