The Angling Trust is the representative body for game, coarse and sea anglers in England and Wales. Our members support the campaigns and legal action we carry out to protect fish stocks and our programmes to increase the number of anglers fishing for fun and in competitions. We're fighting for the future of YOUR fishing, but we need YOUR support to do more. If you want to protect your fish and fishing, for now and in future, join your representative body today.
Fish Legal (formerly the ACA) a unique, non-profit making organisation set up to use the law to fight pollution and other damage to the water environment - both freshwater and marine - and to protect the rights of anglers and angling. We act for fishing clubs, fishery owners, syndicates, commercial fisheries across the whole of the UK. In England only, we act for the Angling Trust as well as other members.
Joining the Angling Trust as an individual member includes great benefits. You get 10% off at fishing venues, free £5m public liability insurance worth £14.99, entry to Angling Trust member only competitions two copies of our magazine each year, discounts on tackle, books fishing mags and outdoor gear, membership of our Fish for Free Loyalty Points Scheme, e-updates and members only prize draws plus more - for all the details click on the picture above...
Those who participate in sporting activities must ensure that anything they do does not cause injury or loss to other people or damage their property. Angling activities are no exception and the Angling Trust has developed a Civil and Employers Liability facility for Affiliated Member Clubs and Organisations. For the full details and to purchase this insurance call our office on 0844 77 00 616 (Option 1) - your call will only take a few minutes and costs less than 5p a minute from landlines.
We think it's important to make sure our members and non-members get all the latest news on what the Angling Trust are doing to protect fish and fishing, our legal battles and wider news from the world of fishing. Select a news stream from the options listed here.
The Angling Trust are the only organisation that campaigns for all anglers on issues affecting salt and freshwater and the fish and angling activities of each of these environments. We employ a Marine Campaigns Manager and Head of Freshwater Campaigns to oversee these projects - our members have direct access to these employees and their teams. Fish Legal, the legal arm of the Trust in England fighting legal issues for its sea, coarse and game angling members. We need YOU to join us so we can campaign at the highest level and protect your fish and fishing.
Angling clubs need to be aware of various complicated things, including law, process, health and safety and risk assessment - and make every effort to keep their volunteers safe. Please download the The Best Practice Guide for Angling Club Bailiffs PDF by clicking the image above and make sure your club or fishery has a copy. This document is intended to be used in conjunction with our existing Elementary Guide to Angling Law & Fisheries Enforcement which can be downloaded from the Voluntary Bailiff Service page - follow the link on the left...
Coaching is key to the long-term development of every angler whether new to the sport or whether involved in performance squads competing across the world. Coaching courses offered by the Angling Trust will help set you on the right path to being able to provide the most appropriate coaching when the learner requires it.
Get hooked on fishing or get back into angling with angling participation events to get the whole family fishing... Want to get into fishing for the first time, bring your friends or family fishing, get back into angling after a break from the sport or just learn new skills and develop your experience? We've got a whole range of FREE activities for anglers of all levels to attend.
To every match angler the Fish 'O' Mania competition is one of the biggest in match fishing. With 24 qualifying rounds, a total of 3,820 tickets will be available to competitors as they try to add their name to the illustrious list of previous champions and scoop a cool £50,000 in the process.
Want to get into fishing or find out where to go fishing? Our new website Get Out There – Get Fishing has all the angling information you and your family need. Find out about angling events, fisheries and venues so you can start fishing for the first time, get back into angling or go family fishing after school or in the holidays.
"Whilst the lure of fishing for many is about the wonderful places it takes us and the friends we make along the way there has to be that extra ingredient that gets the heart pumping and keeps us coming back for more. Perhaps, for the dyed in the wool specimen hunter or match angler, it really is all about the size or quantity of the fish caught?..." Check out this and other blog reports from Martin Salter, Angling Trust National Campaigns Coordinator
"During my days as a serving police officer, one of the most frustrating things was having to return property known to be stolen to the thief, in cases when, for whatever reason, the case could not be proven. Now, anglers can now fight back – with SmartWater..." Read more in blogs from Dilip Sarkar MBE, Angling Trust Fisheries Enforcement Manager in Lines on the Water - The Blog of the Angling Trust Freshwater Team
Since its conception in 2009 the Angling Trust, and the National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) for many years before that, has been campaigning for greater protection for one of the UK’s premier sporting marine fish – the European bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).
This campaign has been a partnership between the Angling Trust and the Bass Angler’s Sportfishing Society (BASS, also encompassing Save our Sea Bass), and the European Anglers Alliance who have also long campaigned for increased bass conservation. Over recent years the scientific advice published annually by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) has repeatedly shown a stock that is at serious risk of collapse, which is a result of commercial overfishing, successive years of poor recruitment and a lack of coordinated management and harvest control measures.
The key outcomes that the campaign to rebuild bass stocks has sought, and the progress towards these outcomes, are:
An increased Minimum Conservation Reference Size (Minimum Landing Size) – we have been successful in increasing this from 36 cm to 42 cm, allowing female bass the opportunity to have spawned before capture.
An end to the midwater trawling of vulnerable spawning aggregations of bass.
Hook and line only targeted fishing for bass in 2017 (recreational and commercial) with limited bycatch allowances for unavoidable catches from demersal trawls, seines and gill nets
Development of a Bass Long-term Management Plan – in 2015 our campaigning efforts forced the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to agree to work with the Angling Trust and BASS on a Long-term Management Plan for the species. This work is ongoing and we continue to work at an EU level with the European Angler’s Alliance to influence the European-wide management plans.
Campaign Timeline Since 2014
Ministers at both a UK and European level began to take the decline in bass stocks much more seriously following the publication of scientific advice calling for drastic reductions in catches. The European Commission reviewed the measures Member States has taken at national level and concluded that they had failed to conserve bass and that EU-wide measures were now necessary to protect the stock.
However, The EU Council of Ministers failed to reach agreement on bass when they met to discuss the 2015 Fishing Opportunities. The French argued in favour of a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) while the UK and other countries were in favour of technical conservation measures to protect the stock. As a result of no agreement being reached by the EU Council, a number of very rarely used “emergency measures” were introduced for 2015 by the EU Commission following a request by the UK Government. These were introduced over the course of 2015 and included:
A ban on the winter pair trawling of spawning aggregations of bass
An increase in the Minimum Landing Size from 36 cm to 42 cm
Monthly vessel limits for all gear types
Restrictions on recreational anglers – an EU-wide daily bag limit of three fish.
For the first time recreational catches were now subject to catch restrictions and were being managed under the EU Common Fisheries Policy.
In the face of scientific advice for further reductions in bass landings in 2015, recreational anglers were prepared to play their part in what we expected to be a fair, effective and proportionate package of measures that would help rebuild bass stocks. However, the European Commission proposed disproportionate restrictions for recreational anglers, which comprised:
A complete fishing ban for commercial vessels and recreational anglers (including catch and release) in the first half of 2016
In the second half of 2016 a monthly one tonne catch limit for vessels targeting sea bass and a one fish per day bag limit for recreational anglers.
Anglers were disappointed and alarmed by these proposals and the Angling Trust lobbied strongly against the disproportionate restrictions proposed for bass anglers and for sustainable catch and release to be allowed during the proposed moratorium period.
The end result was that catch and release angling for bass was permitted during the first half of 2016. However, disappointment turned to anger when the organisations representing Britain's 800,000 sea anglers heard the news that EU Fisheries Ministers had caved in to pressure from commercial fishing interests and granted exemptions to commercial hook and line and the highly damaging bass gill net fishery, with the exception of drift netting, which he referred to as “low impact”.
Unsurprisingly following the lack of action to decrease commercial catches of bass, the 2016 scientific advice from ICES revealed that stocks of bass around the UK and North European coast were below the critical level at which recovery can be guaranteed. Following the publication of this advice, the European Commission proposed that drastic changes be made to the bass fishery in 2017:
A complete ban on all targeted netting of bass
A monthly bag limit for anglers, as opposed to the current daily bag limit
A bycatch allowance for demersal trawls and seines
A closed period during February and March to protect spawning bass
The Angling Trust and BASS were in full support of these proposals and campaigned strongly to see them implemented in full at the Fishing Opportunities meeting in December. Ministers agreed to a complete ban on all targeted netting of bass but failed to allocate by-catch allowances based on percentage of total weight. Instead, they gave commercial fishermen targeting other species a 250 kg per month bass by-catch allowance, which the Angling Trust has deemed a “political fix”.
The restrictions for recreational anglers failed to change, with a no-take period from January – June inclusive and a one-fish-per-day bag limit from July – December.
Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ Tel: 0343 5077006 (For Membership enquiries select Option 1) | Calls to our 0343 number are charged at the same rate as normal landline numbers. Office hours are Mon - Thu 9.00-5.00 and Fri 4.30. Please leave a message if you call outside these hours or email us. Email: email@example.com Angling Trust Limited is a company limited by guarantee, company number 05320350