The UK tackle industry is breathing a sigh of relief after it was made clear today that fishing will be able to continue during the new lockdown. However, it is not all good news. The new rules are more restrictive than before the four-week lockdown was announced.
Tackle shops will only be allowed to operate a click and collect service and the tightening up on ‘gatherings’ means that match fishing and other organised fishing events are prohibited. Regulations, which come into effect tomorrow, also state that anglers can only leave home to fish with members of their own household, their support bubble or with one other individual. They can travel to fish, but long journeys should be avoided.
Fisheries are not on the list of businesses the Government has ordered to close. As a permissible outdoor recreation, fishing can take place within the provision allowing people ‘to visit a public outdoor space for the purposes of open air recreation’.
“We believe this clearly includes riverbanks, towpaths, beaches and stillwaters that can either be accessed freely or by day ticket or subscription levied by the owner or leased to a publicly available fishing association,” said a statement by the Angling Trust, the representative body for anglers in England and Wales.
The Trust also stressed that anglers should recognise they are fortunate they can go on fishing, despite the new restrictions. Its CEO, Jamie Cook, said: “We are obviously pleased that fishing can continue during lockdown, even with the restrictions that have temporally suspended match fishing. Angling has conducted itself safely and responsibly throughout this pandemic and the Angling Trust is determined to ensure that our chosen form of outdoor recreation remains part of the solution rather than the problem. To do this, anglers must continue to fish safely, locally and responsibly.”
The full Angling Trust statement can be found here