Cambridge anglers win fish loss compensation

Baits Bite LockImage copyright

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The claim for compensation centred on the decline of large fish numbers at Baits Bite Lock

A water company has paid compensation to anglers over fish deaths following a discharge from a treatment works.

Cambridge Fish Preservation and Angling Society (CFPAS) claimed Anglian Water’s recycling centre at Milton, near Cambridge, had polluted the River Cam.

It alleged in a civil claim at Peterborough County Court the pollution caused fish stocks to decline.

Anglian Water admitted it was to blame for fish deaths and agreed to pay CFPAS undisclosed damages.

CFPAS holds fishing rights downstream of the centre and alleged numbers of big bream at Baits Bite Lock had dwindled.

Anglian Water said it had acted within its legal permit.

‘Very disappointed’

The Environment Agency had started an investigation after reports of increased ammonia levels in 2013 but did not bring a prosecution.

Justin Neal, solicitor for Fish Legal acting for CFPAS, said Anglian Water still disputes whether the anglers are entitled to claim for restocking to help the fishery recover and further litigation is expected.

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “During July 2013, the ammonia levels from our effluent at Milton Water Recycling Centre were within our legal permit, albeit slightly higher than our normal low levels.

“The Environment Agency carried out an investigation afterwards, and were satisfied that no further action against us was necessary.

“Despite this, we have paid some compensation to the Cambridge Fish Preservation and Angling Society towards any impact this incident had on the River Cam.”

Graham Tweed, president of the angling society, said he was “very disappointed” its claim had taken so long to conclude.