Prince Charles and Salmon fishing

Prince Charles and Salmon fishing

Document reference: PREM 13/3450

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Letter from PM, 4th August 1969

In July 1969 the Prince of Wales became involved in environmental politics. The press picked up on a speech he had made at the London Welsh Association in which he staunchly defended the fate of the Atlantic salmon, over-fished and suffering from disease. The Prime Minister felt he ought to know more, and was given a three-page report. Wilson forwarded this to Prince Charles, reassuring him that the government was now leaping into action.

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Letter from Balmoral, 12th Sept 1969

Prince Charles responded with his thanks, but warned Wilson that he would not let the subject drop.

The Prime Minister was briefed further, his advisors letting him know the pros and cons of a partial ban on Atlantic salmon fishing. By May 1970, action had already been taken. The North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission unanimously agreed to impose two closed areas for fishing and a closed season from July to May outside national fishery limits. The Prince of Wales was delighted that action had been taken so swiftly.

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Letter from Buckingham Palace, 28th May 1970

An issue which might have taken years to resolve, appears to have been accelerated by the personal intervention of the Prince of Wales.