Anglers’ voices heard in a report funded by the UK Government on fisheries management

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02 Sep

Research undertaken in the UK concludes that recreational sea anglers would support increased management of recreational fisheries on two conditions: improvements to environmental conditions should be a priority ; a balance between the interests of recreational sea anglers and the commercial fishing industry should be ensured.

This work has been funded by Defra (the UK Government’s Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) and conducted by the Centre for Environment, fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) and Substance (a research consultancy). They looked into anglers’ perspectives on fisheries management and regulation. The report is the result of a research conducted between 2018 and 2019 which involved an extensive consultation with angling organisations and other stakeholders; interviews; and a survey of over 1,500 sea anglers. The Angling Trust and the European Anglers Alliance contributed to the consultation. The report is part of the larger engagement of the Government with the different fisheries players in the context of the UK leaving the European Union and having to set up its own fisheries management plans as an independent coastal state. 
The key findings are in line with EAA’s key messages in Brussels, towards the European Union institutions:
  • Behaviour: sea anglers were motivated equally by catching fish and the quality of the environment in which they fish – wanting a variety of species and a healthy environment. 
  • Data collection: over two-thirds said they would provide catch and participation data and three-quarters said this should be used to benefit and develop sea angling.
  • Fish stocks: the biggest perceived threats were damage to habitats, overfishing by commercial operators, and pollution.
  • Management: sea anglers said regulations on commercial fishing were less effective than those for sea angling; they wanted better regulation of commercial fishing practices and pollution, and conservation zones that protect fish stocks.
  • Funding: 35% said there should be a sea angling licence, but this was conditional on its use for sea angling development and control of commercial fishing.
  • Future management: sea anglers said that this needs to provide a better balance between recreational sea angling and the commercial fishing sector.

To read more about the report, click here
Direct link to download the report, here 

To reference this report :
Brown, A., Andrews, B., Haves, V., Bell, B., Kroese, J., Radford, Z. and Hyder, K. (2019). Attitudes towards data collection, management and development, and the impact of management on economic value of sea angling in England. Substance, Manchester. 80 pp.

Photo credit : Substance 

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