In August 2000, Nautilus Consultants Ltd. in association with EKOS Economic Consultants Ltd. produced a Study into Inland and Sea Fisheries in Wales for the National Assembly for Wales.

This document is available in full from Nautilus and, in the absence of a proper summary from the Restoration Team, there are a couple of points I would like to highlight.

Page 86 shows the economic contribution of recreational sea angling to be £28.7 million, compared with inshore commercial fin-fishing at £8.8 million and offshore commercial fin-fishing at £11.8 million. Furthermore the recreational sector achieves this with minimal public sector investment (compared to the commercial sector), and would yield better returns for public sector investment than the commercial sector.

Page 50 underlines the problems that recreational sea angling faces. Potential deterioration in the state of the stocks and the quality of the natural environment poses a threat to the continued popularity and expansion of sea angling. Overfishing, illegal fishing and habitat degradation are all real threats and There is heavy commercial fishing pressure on various species of interest to recreational sea anglers and inshore netting, particularly illegal netting for bass, undermines the resource base.

Dave Cooling