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Angling Trust throws its support behind the Sea Angling Diary Project
Make Your Catch Count – Count Your Catch!
The Angling Trust is joining Defra, the Welsh Government, Cefas and Substance in calling for sea anglers in England and Wales to sign up to the Sea Angling Diary project.
The project invites sea anglers to provide information on how often they fish, what they catch and what they spend. This informs UK governments and angling federations about the value of sea angling for our economy and how marine fisheries can be managed more efficiently and sustainably.
The Angling Trust is joining the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers and a wide range of other angling, marine and fishery organisations who support the project, including:
• Angling Trades Association
• Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities
• Institute of Fisheries Management
• National Mullet Club
• Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society
• Fishing Megastore
Sea angling is for the first time recognised and embedded in the Fisheries Act, and public funding has been provided to support and enhance the recreational sea fishing sector. More anglers using the Sea Angling Diary will help provide better data on the sector’s value and impact which is more important than ever as the UK government works with all of the fishing industry to improve and support the sustainable management of marine fisheries.
In an activity like sea angling, it is anglers themselves who need to provide that vital, first-hand information. In the Sea Angling Diary project, sea anglers volunteer as ‘citizen scientists’ and have, since 2016, provided data on over 48,000 sessions and 362,000 catch records from 216,000 hours of angling activity. They have also contributed to understanding the economic benefits, broader societal benefits around well-being, and the impacts of Covid on sea angling in the UK. The Angling Trust is joining forces with the project to call for more sea anglers to get involved in 2022 to further enhance our understanding of the sector.
Now is the chance for anglers to sign up – whether they fish in the sea every week or just once or twice a year. In return for participating, anglers get:
• A FREE mobile app that provides a record of activity, catches, photos and ‘annual report’.
• NEW FEATURE! The app now allows ‘live’ recordings of sessions, with tracks of activity and pinpoints of catches.
• A FREE catch recording kit including fish identification booklet, tape measure and waterproof notebook.
• An online dashboard of catches and sessions.
• Monthly prize draws for tackle vouchers provided by Fishing Megastore.
The Angling Trust’s support is part of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Trust, government department Defra (responsible for English fisheries), government marine scientists, Cefas, and angling research specialists, Substance. This will lead to greater cooperation in sea angling research, data collection and policy and funding development.
Stuart Singleton-White, Angling Trust, said: ‘Many of us love to go sea fishing and are passionate about protecting our marine environment and fish stocks. Supporting the diary project will not only help us to do that, by providing valuable data, it will also provide further evidence to the government, and others, of the valuable economic and social contribution we make to many coastal communities around England and Wales.’
Victoria Prentis, UK Government Fisheries Minister, said: ‘Sea anglers are an important set of eyes and ears on our coast. This great, hands-on initiative helps us understand the value that recreational sea angling brings to the UK economy. Knowing more about what and where they catch will also give us valuable insights to support the sustainable management of our fisheries. That’s why we have funded this project to support the future of this sport and I’m pleased that the Angling Trust has joined our call to anglers to get involved.’
Welsh Government Minister for Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: ‘We are pleased to engage Sea Anglers through the Diary Project for the fifth year running. Recreational angling is a highly valued industry in Wales, for leisure, tourism and wellbeing. We also recognise anglers as important stakeholders in fisheries management conversations. Whilst we are particularly proud of our seabass fishery in Wales, we are keen to learn more about who fishes what, where to explore the sustainable development of further recreational fisheries for your enjoyment’
Kieran Hyder, Cefas, said: ‘Robust data on sea angling is vital to ensure that the needs of sea anglers are accounted for in fisheries management. Partnership with the Angling Trust in England on the Sea Angling Diary is a fantastic opportunity as it will improve data quality, increase the numbers of English sea anglers that contribute, and maximise the value of the outputs.’
Adam Brown, Substance, said: ‘We are delighted to now be working closely with both the Angling Trust in England and the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers in Wales to deliver an improved Sea Angling Diary project. It’s an exciting opportunity for the project to expand and put evidence from anglers themselves centre stage.’