National Angling Strategy Announced

We have reported previously that the government intended to evolve a new National Angling Strategy. We are pleased to tell you that this has finally been announced. A plan for the next five years, it will be implemented by a new partnership body, the National Angling Strategy Partnership Board. This will be coordinated by the Angling Trust and representatives from the Environment Agency, Angling Trades Association, Get Hooked on Fishing and Canal and River Trust.

National Angling Strategy Announced

The new strategy was developed by Substance, a research company. It follows extensive consultation with anglers and utilises feedback from the 2018 National Angling Survey. The survey featured 35,000 responses and revealed that anglers wanted more information on where and how to fish. Anglers were also keen to promote angling as beneficial for mental health and physical fitness.

As a result, the new strategy aims to encourage more people to experience angling and to deliver the best possible experience in England. All of which sounds encouraging, but what are the details of the National Angling Strategy?

Objective of the National Angling Strategy

The strategy features six objectives. All of which are welcome but none are either surprising or revolutionary!

Objective 1

The first objective outlined is the development of awareness and knowledge of angling. A marketing campaign has been promised and new information will be published about how to fish and the choice of fishing locations. No details have yet been announced as to where this information will be published. Will anglers have access to a new resource such as an angling specific website or will the Environment Agency’s website be expanded?

Objective 2

The strategy’s second objective is to increase participation in the sport over the next five years, particularly amongst women, young people and black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. The government’s announcement did not outline how this objective will be achieved.

Objective 3

Objective three is to develop the social benefits of angling and to increase the number of people getting active through angling. These aims appear to be much the same as objective two! Angling for health projects are promised as is an angling volunteer programme.

Objective 4

Things get slightly more interesting with objective four which is to develop sustainable places to fish and to involve anglers in environmental improvement. Community waters will be created which will provide accessible places for people to fish. These developments would be very good news indeed if they actually happen!

Objective 5

Objective five is to increase the beneficial economic impact of angling via the promotion of angling tourism and new funding for the sector.

Objective 6

The National Angling Strategy is completed by objective six which is to develop an angling research programme. This will dictate future strategies while facilitating assessment of the National Angling Strategy’s success. If it is successful!

Conclusions

The announcement is a little thin on detail. The objectives sound promising but with no information provided as to how the objective will be achieved, it is impossible to consider how effective the strategy might be. The devil is always in the detail and so we wait with baited breath to see if both anglers and the sport as a whole will benefit significantly from the initiatives.

The National Angling Survey 2018

salmonAnglers are bound by variety of rules and regulations, the benefits of which may not always be clear. It can be frustrating when you believe that there should be changes to the rules and you lack any authority to influence the powers that be – in the case of angling, primarily the
Environment Agency. But we have great news!

Anglers are being given a chance to shape the future of their sport by participating in the new National Angling survey.

Make your opinion count

The Environment Agency will be seeking the opinions of both current and lapsed rod licence holders via a simple online questionnaire. This will constitute the largest survey of anglers since 2002 when over 300,000 anglers took part and helped to inspire the changes they were looking for.

The 2002 survey led to the creation of free rod licences for junior anglers together with a 365-day permit and a carp licence which permitted anglers to use three carp rods on one licence. The Environment agency have said that they continue to value the opinions of anglers and would like to invite them to help shape the new National Angling Strategy. This will be delivered through various partnerships in the angling community with the aim of enhancing the sport.

The Survey

The new survey will be run on behalf of the Environment Agency by the study group Substance. It will be open to both freshwater and sea anglers. The results will be published via partner organisations including The Angling Trust. Naturally, we will be looking out for the results and will bring you a summary of them right here at Fishing Bait World.

If you would like your voice to be heard, now is your time!

The survey will form the basis of the research required to create a new National Angling Strategy for 2019-2024. This will encompass many aspects of angling including:

• Encouraging more people to take part
• Ensuring that angling better contributes to society
• The governance and funding of angling
• The development of both freshwater and sea angling
• Ensuring that angling helps fisheries to be more sustainable

Consultation and change

In addition to the survey, consultation will be conducted with angling and environmental bodies. This follows the Angling Trust’s Future Angling conference which was held on November 17th. The conference provided a forum in which to collect the opinions of anglers together with those of clubs, fisheries, trade and tackle shops.

Substance are keen that as many anglers as possible take the National Angling Survey to record their views and experiences. Anglers will have a say in how the sport should be developed and who should be responsible for what.

Interested? Keep an eye on the Substance and Angling Trust websites where you will soon find links to the survey. If you don’t take part, you will be passing up one of the few opportunities that you may have to truly make a difference to the future of Angling. Why would you do that?