In It To Win It!


A Chess board of Business people. Business strategy concept

The Angling Trades Association has welcomed the recent, successful House of Commons Debate on Bass, secured by Scott Mann (Conservative MP for North Cornwall and a sea angler). The motion stated: ‘that this House believes that the recent EU restrictions on recreational sea bass fishing are unfair and fail to address the real threat to the future viability of UK sea bass stocks; and calls on the Government to make representations within the Council of the EU on the reconsideration of the imposition of those restrictions’.

Now put your hand on your heart and ask yourself – did you really do your best as members of the angling trade, and as individual anglers, to add your voice and support the debate?

Historically, the factual value of recreational sea angling to the trade and the economy speak for themselves. The Drew Report into sea angling in 2003 stated that £538 million pounds was spent annually by 1.1 million sea anglers. The CEFAS report for Defra titled ‘Sea Angling 2012’ revealed that there were 884,000 recreational sea anglers in England, directly spending £1.23 billion per annum (£2.1 billion including induced and indirect impacts). After deductions for tax and imports, the direct annual expenditure was calculated to be £831 million. The VAT receipts received by the Treasury were £166 million p.a. and bass angling was calculated to be worth £200 million each year in England alone.

In 2015 the Blue Marine Foundation published a report ‘Defining the Economic & Environmental Values of Sea Bass’, focussing on Sussex. It revealed that sea anglers fishing in the county spent £31.3 million on tackle, charter boats and hotels, creating 353 full-time jobs whilst retaining just 15 tonnes of bass. In the latest ‘Tackle Trade Survey 2015’ published by the Angling Trades Association, which reported on research into the value of the UK sales of tackle and associated equipment (rods, reels, line, bait, lures, clothing and accessories), sea angling accounted for 10.63% of sales (£60.7 million of the total annual sales figure of £570.4 million).

So why are we in this position now? Naidre Werner, Chair of the Angling Trades Association (ATA), thinks the answer is simple:

‘We aren’t shouting loudly enough, either as businesses working within the sector or as individual anglers. We don’t need to get embroiled in a fight with the commercial fisherman – our immense value in numbers speaks out for itself. But what we do need to do is add our voices to the messages that the Angling Trust (AT), BASS and the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) are trying to get across.

‘It doesn’t matter what your personal opinion is of these organisations or their teams of people. The fact remains that the Angling Trust is the recognised National Governing Body for anglers in England and the EAA is the recognised body for anglers in Europe, and they are the organisations that are being invited to sit in front of the right people in Parliament (both in the UK and the EU) to put across our opinions.

‘Defra, Cefas and the Council of the EU have absolutely no interest in trawling fishing forums late at night to find ‘relevant’ comments and useful information written by ‘keyboard warriors’… I don’t blame them.’

Naidre continued: ‘So we need to be in it to win it – together. If as angling businesses and angling individuals we support the organisations that are there to represent our interests, then this will only add decibels to the noise we make.’

The ATA is urging all sea anglers, businesses involved in sea angling and sympathetic individuals to support the Angling Trust’s campaign by emailing the EU Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, with a short message of support. The email address is karmenu.vella@ec.europa.eu. Please also copy David Mitchell of the Angling Trust on your email: david.mitchell@anglingtrust.net.

It won’t take long to write a message, but it could save your hobby, your job or your business!



It’s in the bag


Angling Directs NFM Bag for Life

Angling Directs NFM Bag for Life

Angling Direct has joined the 5p bag scheme… but with a big difference. In conjunction with the Angling Trades Association (ATA) – of which the company is a member – ALL proceeds generated from sales of Angling Direct carrier bags will go directly towards supporting National Fishing Month (NFM).

The scheme also aims to reduce the discarding of single-use plastic carrier bags within the angling trade, and the litter associated with them, by encouraging people to re-use their bags when they go shopping. Angling Direct will soon be introducing their own version of the hessian ‘Bag for Life.’ Again all money raised will go towards National Fishing Month.

Naidre Werner, NFM Co-Ordinator and ATA Chair commented: ‘It’s fabulous that Angling Direct is supporting National Fishing Month in this way and I am very grateful for their commitment. Without a doubt, the money raised from this idea will contribute significantly to the NFM coffers and hopefully encourage other members of the trade to come up with equally creative ways of supporting what is angling’s largest participation initiative.’

Darren Bailey, MD for Angling Direct added: ‘As enthusiastic members of the Angling Trades Association, it made sense to support National Fishing Month. Participation initiatives like NFM are designed to attract newcomers into our sport and with more anglers; there is greater protection for our fisheries and the ecosystem in general. Attracting new anglers means more future customers and so it makes perfect business sense to generate money that can be donated to this type of initiative. Over the next few months, the team at Angling Direct are taking a much closer look at how we can help grow our sport, as it is vital that retailers, manufacturers and organisations work together to protect our futures. Over the next five years, Angling Direct will run out a number of grass roots initiatives that underpin the growth of the angling community, support the environment and demonstrate our commitment to business growth and our employees. ’

National Fishing Month 2016 runs between 22nd July and 29th August. Further details can be found at www.nationalfishingmonth.com



Working Together For The Future Of Angling


Mark Lloyd and Naidre Werner shaking hands on the MoU agreement

Mark Lloyd and Naidre Werner shaking hands on the MoU agreement

Exciting developments following on from a number of discussions have resulted in the recent announcement that the Angling Trades Association (ATA) and the Angling Trust (AT) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The strategic aim of this collaboration is to secure a sustainable future for angling by recruiting and retaining more anglers, campaigning to protect and improve fish stocks and the rights of anglers to fish for them and thereby generating more customers for the trade.

Angling and the industries it supports face huge challenges. The average age of anglers is increasing, rod licence sales are declining and the recent Active People Survey showed a dramatic drop in weekly participation. Many companies involved in servicing the angling industry are facing reduced revenues as a consequence. At a time such as this, it is vital for national angling bodies to make the best use of resources to address these challenges and breathe new life into angling. The pragmatic way to achieve this is for organisations in the sector to work collaboratively and to investigate new ways of benefitting from economies of scale and clarity of structures.

The ‘Fishing for Life’ National Angling Strategy was published by the Angling Trust in November 2012 with the support of the Environment Agency and informed by the national surveys undertaken by the research company Substance. The strategy was also partly underpinned by the ‘Fishing for Answers’ report, published by Substance in January 2012, to which the Angling Trades Association and the Angling Trust were significant contributors. The new MoU both embraces the sentiments of this strategy and uses the detail to frame the actions to be undertaken.

Naidre Werner, Chair for the ATA stated: ‘These are exciting times. The MoU underpins our commitment to each other as two strategically important organisations within the angling sector. Working together will help increase the profile of important participation initiatives such as National Fishing Month, Take A Friend Fishing, Family Fishing Days and the Get Out There campaign. Initial planning meetings for these projects have been exceptionally constructive and I am sure that outcomes will be very positive.’

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal said: ’This agreement is another important step towards unity in angling and a brighter future for the many businesses and jobs that depend on the health of our sport. The central concept behind the formation of the Angling Trust was that we can achieve far more by joining forces and working together than we can by working in separate factions. I am delighted to be working more closely with the Angling Trades Association and look forward to developing our relationship over the coming months.’



SUPPORT FOR NEW ANGLING SHOW


Although winter is upon us and people have started their Christmas countdown, the Angling Trades Association (ATA) is looking ahead at the calendar of events for next spring and summer.

The Association plans to maximise opportunities for its members to promote their businesses and invigorate its key participation events, such as National Fishing Month. Following the demise of the original CLA Game Fair, announced earlier in September, there has been a plethora of rumours, announcements and cancellations regarding potential new shows.

Some are aimed firmly at the general public and urban dwellers with rural aspirations; others are slanted towards those interested in the traditional countryside activities. The UK Game Fair will take place on 22nd-24th July 2016.

ATA Chair Naidre Werner, who recently met organisers Blaze Publishing, believes that the Fair stands out from the crowd, saying: “It made a refreshing change to talk to the owner of a show who had the commercial interests of the exhibitor at the forefront of his mind.

“There is a determination to create a showcase event that accurately and positively represents and promotes fishing, shooting and hunting. The organising team impressed me with their eagerness to heavily promote the fishing focus of the show and their determination to invest time and money into creating a true enthusiasts’ experience.

“I was also happy with the team’s keenness to support National Fishing Month, and exciting plans could develop for this participation initiative in future. I hope that the trade and the public get behind the UK Game Fair because we need a good outdoor show that features fishing seriously. I genuinely feel that this is could be the one.”

The venue for the new show – the NAEC at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire – will be familiar to many people. Located in the triangle between Coventry, Leamington Spa and Kenilworth, Stoneleigh has strong historical links to the rural economy, and for many years it hosted the now defunct Royal Show.

It boasts two lakes on site, perfect venues to introduce coarse fishing to youngsters who have little or no experience and current coarse anglers who would like to upskill and learn a few new tricks. The site encompasses a picturesque section of the River Avon which provides great opportunities for fly casting tutorials, demonstrations and master classes.

UK Game Fair organiser Wes Stanton added: “The important thing with a country pursuits event is to make sure that it has a core content that will be of interest to visitors. A solid fishing and retail experience has to be part of that show.

“I think that we see too many outdoor shows where the first thing that greets you when you walk through the gates is a face painting stall or a merry go round, and you walk around to find stands selling revolutionary pan cleaners, home-made sweeties and wind chimes.

“That’s not the kind of content we need for our show, so we are determined to deliver the right kind of exhibitor and attract the right kind of visitors for those exhibitors.”

For more about the UK Game Fair call 01926 339808, follow on Facebook UKGameFair or Twitter @UKGameFair.



York carp deaths being investigated by EA


A small, but unexplained number, of carp have died over the past few weeks raising concerns over a viral outbreak at Moor Monkton Pools situated on the outskirts of York.

After the confirmed case of Koi Herpes Virus at Leeds & District’s ASA’s Kippax polo pond, the society this week suffered more bad news at their recently purchased venue near York.

On-site fishery manager and Leeds president Stan Jeffreys said this week that the deaths had been reported to the Environment Agency which is arranging for samples to be collected and sent to laboratories for testing.

At the moment, Mr Jeffreys (together with EA officers) does not think it is the Koi Herpes Virus and is swaying towards a dietary problem.



Illegal net found across Thames


An illegal 175ft long fishing net stretching across the River Thames has been found.

The Environment Agency has described it as the worst case of attempted poaching on the river in recent years and is now trying to catch those responsible.

The net was discovered strung across the river at Teddington with about 100 fish caught in it – some of which died.