A Government-Funded Study Into Sea Angling In England
The government-sponsored Sea Angling 2012 project collecting catch, economic and social data about sea angling in England is currently underway.
The survey, being managed by Cefas, aims to find out how many people enjoy the sport, how much fish they catch, what is returned alive, and how important the sport is to the country’s economy.
There are five parts to the project:
Face to face surveys carried out by the Office For National Statistics
Shore and private boat surveys carried out by the IFCAs
Charter boat surveys carried out by the MMO
An online catch survey
A social and economic benefits survey
European legislation requires EU Member States to collect and report data on recreational catches of certain species – including bass, cod and sharks – where it is needed to give a clearer picture of how fishing activities are affecting the stocks.
We recognise the value of reliable and robust data on sea angling. However, there is considerable concern from within the sea angling community about the motivation for carrying out the survey and the outcomes that might come about from it.
The Angling Trust asked for assurances before the project started that Where the data collected shows that recreational sea angling exploitation derives a better return for the UK than commercial exploitation steps will be taken to integrate the requirements of recreational sea angling into fisheries management measures.
Defra were unable to give us this assurance and as a result we felt we were unable to fully support the project. However, it was clear that the project was proceeding regardless and in order to represent the interests of of anglers and help ensure that the project is conducted as fairly and as accurately as possible, we accepted an invitation to sit on the project's steering group. The steering group meets regularly with Cefas and other partners to discuss the project.
We are committed to providing sea anglers with all the information on the project so they can make an informed and independent decision about whether to contribute to the project or not. Individual Angling Trust members receive regular updates on the progress of the project.
For more information on the project and how to get involved visit the Sea Angling 2012 website