Angling businesses told: Save the fish to save your trade
Seaside tackle shops and hundreds of businesses serving sea angling are being urged to protect their own trade by helping restore Britain’s seriously depleted fish stocks.
Ted Tuckerman chairman of the National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) said: “Unless fish stocks recover there will be no anglers, so no customers for the sea angling trade. Having fish in the sea keeps anglers on the beach and on the water.”
Lobbying by unpaid NFSA volunteers has convinced the government that fish stocks must be allowed to recover from years of commercial over fishing.
In an open letter to the Angling Trades Association and hundreds of other sea angling businesses which together support 19,000 jobs in England and Wales, Mr. Tuckerman says: “We need your support to capitalise on our achievements,
secure the future and increase your turnover.”
Recognition by the environment department that angling was part of the fishing industry to be considered equally in future legislation, had been a dramatic change.
The department’s inshore waters policy group had a specific responsibility for the million sea anglers who annually spend £1 billion. The views of sea anglers were constantly sought by ministers, MPs and civil servants and more anglers were now on the sea fisheries committees which regulate local fishing.
British sportfishing, he said, had the opportunity to follow the US example where fishing tackle and boat sales had rocketed with the regulation of striped bass fishing. “The bass population increased from five million in 1981 to 35
million today, creating seven million angling trips a year worth over $1 billion.”
Dr Bruno Broughton of the Angling Trades Association told Fishing News, commercial fishing’s weekly newspaper, that the depletion of many fish stocks in Britain had made trading difficult. He said recreational angling’s 19,000 livelihoods were “just as real as those of commercial fishermen.”