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Participation in Sweden now back to 2014 levels thanks to lockdown boom

Sweden is experiencing a ‘veritable boom’ in recreational fishing following the onset of COVID-19. That is according to the Swedish Maritime Administration, which monitors participation in the sport. It says: “Consistent data from fishing licence sales nationally this year show a very sharp increase. There is a veritable boom in the country due to the demands on social distancing and other restrictions imposed during the pandemic.
With the majority of people at home, many have sought out the benefits of going outdoors to seek out nature and try fishing.”

Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the latest figures from Sweden revealed a healthy increase in participation in the sport last year. The Swedish Marine Administration’s survey – carried out between May last year and January 2020 – showed that the number of anglers is now back to 2014 levels. Its report on recreational fishing in 2019 revealed:

  • Approximately 1.6m people between the ages of 16 and 80 took part in the sport in Swedish waters. Children taking part could boost that number to 2m;
  • The number of fishing days amounted to 12.7m in 2019;
  • Retained catches amounted to 4,700 tons from lakes and watercourses and 2,900 tons from the sea;
  • The dominant species were perch, pike, trout and crayfish (inland) and perch, mackerel and cod (sea);
  • Total expenditure on recreational fishing was around SEK 10.6 billion.

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