Sea Angling 2012 was established to find out how many people go sea angling in England, how much they catch, how much is released, and the economic and social value of sea angling.
This was to help local and national policy makers make balanced, well-informed decisions on sustainable development of all forms of sea fishing, and help other organisations – such as sea angling bodies – to develop their own policies.
The Angling Trust commented:
Two Billion Pound Spend Highlights Huge Value of Recreational Sea Angling
Yet another report to show the socio-economic impacts of recreational sea angling.
And here’s the really interesting bit. The attachment to this message is cut and paste straight off the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) website and can be found at: Annual Statistics. Scroll down to Chapter 3 and 3.2a Landings into England by UK Vessels: 2008 to 2012
The first sale value of ALL commercial landings into England [Sea Angling 2012 is ONLY about England] is only £164 million and that includes a wide range of species such as lobsters, cockles, monk, lemon sole, hake etc. that are of no direct interest to RSA. So I’ve highlighted all species that I consider are of direct interest to RSA, in other words all species that sea anglers are likely to target, in yellow and all others (wholly commercial) in red.
Those fishery resources upon which RSA across England are dependent, and which drive £2 billion worth of expenditure across RSA, are ONLY WORTH £35 million to commercial fishing! Yes, that’s right! First sale landings value – what the fishermen receive – is less than 2% of what sea anglers put into the economy.
Sure, the first sale value of fish does create additional economic impacts downstream with transport, packaging, processing, wholesaling and retailing. One economic report carried out in the South West about ten years ago gave a multiplication figure of 2.7 to encompass ALL economic impacts but even if we multiply £35 million by 2.7 we still only make less than £100 million – still less than 5% of the revenue driven from RSA.
And yet we have a Government dept. costing tax payers tens of millions of pounds to manage commercial fishing, referring to the species that support RSA as ‘commercial species’, who are imbued with a 100% commercial fishing cultural mindset and who resolutely refuse to do anything in terms of fisheries management that takes account of the specific and unique requirements of RSA.
Oh, and if you’re confused because you can’t reconcile such small values from commercial fishing with a £6 billion sea food industry, the explanation is very simple.
The UK seafood industry is largely made up of imported seafood and aquaculture, neither of which have any more to do with the UK commercial catching sector than imported bananas or cider from Somerset!
Even SEAFISH (http://www.seafish.org/) who carried out an internal revue of itself in 2006 said: “Over the 25 years since 1981, there has been a very substantial increase in the amount of fish which is imported into the UK from foreign catchers for processing and/or consumption. Only a relatively small proportion of the fish now consumed in the UK is caught by the UK fleet while much of the fish caught by the UK fleet is exported. The health of the UK catching sector is no longer of such central importance to the UK seafood industry.”
Our public fishery resources are just that – public – and we need a sea change to the way in which the Government views and manages them. Prioritising short term earnings for commercial fishers has to end and the wellbeing of the resources themselves needs to be first priority. Right now, our marine fisheries management isn’t fit for purpose.
Attachment: 2012 Landings by UK fleet into England