Today, Defra published their plans for the UK’s fishing industry, in response to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit report of 2004, ‘Net Benefits, a sustainable and profitable future’, concerning the UK fishing industry.

The National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) have issued the following press release:-

Official: sea angling is economically important, too

Recreational sea angling was today recognised by the Government for its annual £1 billion contribution to the economy. The million sea anglers in Britain are now considered an integral part of the fishing industry so their needs will be taken into account along with those of commercial fishermen.

The statement was in a report responding to a call last year for a drastic shake-up in the regulation of the commercial fishing industry and for recognition of the economic value of sea angling, from the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

While the response made only passing reference to the sport, sea anglers were reassured by the creation of a unit within Defra (Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs) to oversee it.

The new branch will deal with inshore fisheries (up to 12 miles from the coast) and its staff will be directly concerned with the urgent need to introduce legislation to encourage sea angling from the shore and from boats.

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