A group of Carmarthenshire fishermen has called on farmers to consider the health of their local rivers when making decisions about how best to manage their farms.
The call came during a joint meeting between NFU Cymru and the Carmarthenshire Fishermen’s Federation (CFF), held on-farm in Cwmifor, Llandeilo last week.
More than 200 people attended the event, where Creighton Harvey from the CFF spoke about the need for farmers to help keep rivers and streams clean, pointing out fish populations can take years to recover from a single pollution event.
Angling members of the CFF have previously raised concerns about farmers failing to maintain slurry pits, running slurry pipes across rivers and allowing livestock to enter waterways.
NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “This event provided a platform for farmers and local fishermen to come together and discuss something which is important to everyone – the condition of our watercourses.
“As farmers we take our environmental responsibilities seriously and recognise the role we have to play to enhance water quality in Wales.
“Everyone in attendance showed a real willingness to work together on this important issue. NFU Cymru is fully engaged in the challenge we face and this is just the start of what I am sure will be a long and fruitful partnership.”
Union leaders will meet the CFF again next month to discuss how to develop the relationship between the fishing and farming communities with the aim of improving water quality.
The Welsh Government is already working with farming and fishing groups on the issue.
Late last year, Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths agreed to support voluntary measures to tackle nitrate pollution after a sustained campaign from NFU Cymru and the Farmers’ Union of Wales (FUW).
Research carried out by NFU Cymru had shown one in eight farmers would quit the industry if the original plans had been introduced with no change.