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English anglers could face 10% fishing licence increase


A 10% increase in the cost of an annual rod licence in England is being considered by the Environment Agency (EA), the body that issues them.

The Agency is conducting a nationwide survey to seek feedback on the potential increase and to sound out the idea of creating a ‘young persons’ concessionary permit.

The survey will also gauge reaction to the possible scrapping of the traditional paper licence, which features fish images by artist David Miller.

The cost of a standard, two-rod licence has been frozen at £30 since 2017. The considered rise, if confirmed, would be implemented in the 2023 season, with the extra revenue helping offset costs of the new permit aimed at encouraging 17 to 24-year-olds to keep fishing.

The long-time trend has been for young anglers to desert the sport as work, relationships and other sports and pastimes take precedence, with some returning to fishing later in life. There has been a significant fall in licence sales among young people in recent years.

An EA spokesperson said no decisions have yet been reached, adding that any changes will not come into effect until 2023 and will be formally communicated to all anglers.

Rod licence sales generate more than £21 million annually, with the revenue intended for use in protecting and improving fisheries and tackling illegal fishing.

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