During his presentation at the 4th National Riverfly Partnership Conference at the Natural History Museum, London on 17th November, Dr Bill Brierley, Chief Executive of the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA) confirmed the exciting news that Freshwater Biological Association will take over from Salmon & Trout Conservation UK (S&TC) as Riverfly Partnership host at the beginning of April 2017.
This move is not unprecedented, the Riverfly Partnership was first hosted by the Natural History Museum (NHM) before S&TC (then Salmon & Trout Association) took on that role in 2008, and does not herald any change in direction for the Riverfly Partnership (RP) or the Anglers’ Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI). S&TC has proved to be an incredibly strong host for RP and will continue to be a key member of the Partnership beyond March 2017, by remaining on the Executive council along with FBA, NHM and the Environment Agency (EA). It is important to stress that anglers continue to represent the core of ARMI participants, and that FBA’s established track record on fish science and training, which includes the excellent ‘Entomology for Anglers’ levels 1, 2 and 3 courses delivered by Andrew Dixon and RP’s own Stuart Crofts, identifies with that angling core. In addition, FBA equally reflects the broader, non-angling participants of ARMI and it must be acknowledged that, whether angler or not, every ARMI participant contributes equally to protecting rivers, and the fisheries they support, by regularly monitoring water quality, and, by detecting and reporting pollution incidents. The RP website is already hosted by FBA and the ARMI online database and GIS has been hosted by it since the system was developed in 2013 so that link, and potentially future development costs, will be streamlined because of this move.