In Saving Our Streams, Roger Bate explains the history of an unusual and remarkably effective ‘environmental’ organisation – the Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA). Founded in 1948, the ACA is a voluntary association of angling clubs and individual anglers which brings civil suits against polluters who harm fishing.
Dr Bate’s original and instructive history explores how the ACA, using the common law, has operated to indemnify its members against the cost of litigation, bringing thousands of actions and being awarded hundreds of injunctions and millions of pounds in damages for plaintiffs. Most cases end in out-of-court settlement which, though efficient, brings little public recognition to the ACA.
The ACA has not sought the limelight, unlike other environmental groups, but, argues Dr Bate, it is the most efficient and determined pollution prevention body in Britain. Its success demonstrates the value of private initiatives against polluters.