Angling Trust Respond to UK Seafood Fund Enquiry

The Angling Trust has submitted evidence to the EFRA Select Committee Enquiry on the UK Seafood Fund, which closed for submissions on Tuesday 10th May 2022.

The enquiry aims to evaluate how effectively the UK Seafood Fund will meet its objectives and how well the Government will deliver on its commitments to the fishing industry.

The Government has outlined that the objectives of the UK Seafood Fund are to:

  • Reform and modernise infrastructure in order to ‘level up’ – and bring economic growth to – coastal communities
  • Ensure the best science, research and technology are used in fisheries management
  • Encourage new entrants to the industry while upskilling current members
  • Enable an environmentally sustainable fishing industry

The UK Seafood Fund will be distributed via three streams: Science & Innovation; Infrastructure; and Skills & Training. The application window for some elements of the fund has already opened.

Under the Fisheries Act (2020), recreational sea anglers are a recognised stakeholder within UK fisheries management and, where possible, can access funds designated to the industry.

The Angling Trust believes the UK Seafood Fund does not currently meet the needs of the recreational angling sector and that it upholds unnecessary barriers to the sector applying for funds which are disadvantageous and unequal.

The Angling Trust advocates investment into recreational sea angling projects, including but not limited to infrastructures such as fish cleaning stations, water safety equipment and pier renovations; angling coaching; angling as a therapy for mental health and welfare; and believes funding for the sector will meet the objectives of the UK Seafood Fund whilst maximising the socio-economic benefits the sector can offer local communities and the national economy.

Funding for research projects into the regional importance of sea angling socio-economically, fish welfare standards and co-management for marine protected areas, for example, will also assist with improving the resiliency and sustainability of the sector whilst filling data knowledge gaps.

The Angling Trust’s response to the EFRA Select Committee Enquiry will be published in due course as per the requirements of the Committee.

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