The Angling Trades Association has thrown its support behind the Sea Angling Diary project, which includes a survey to find out how often people sea fish, what they catch and why they go fishing.
The project, in conjunction with DEFRA, the Welsh Government, CEFAS and Subtsance, will inform policy makers and angling federations about the value of sea angling for our economy and how marine fisheries can be managed more efficiently and sustainably
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 fishing industry to improve and support the sustainable management of marine fisheries.
Sea anglers can 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.
In return for joining in, anglers get a free mobile app that gives them a record of their activity, catches, photos and an annual report. It also allows ‘live’ recordings of sessions, tracking activity and pinpointing catches.
There’s even a free catch recording kit including fish identification booklet, tape measure and waterproof notebook along with a monthly prize draws for tackle vouchers provided by Fishing Megastore.
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.”