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‘Angling has added balance to the daily life of many Europeans,’ says supportive MEP


A key supporter of recreational fishing in the European Parliament has highlighted the beneficial virtues of the sport on mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Niclas Herbst, Chair of the Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment (RecFish Forum), which is supported by the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) and European Anglers Alliance (EAA), was speaking after accepting an invitation from Fred Bloot, EAA President, to go fishing on the canals of Amsterdam.

The Member of the European Parliament said: “During the COVID-19 lockdowns recreational fishing has been a way of letting off steam and adding balance to the daily life of many Europeans. A great number have started angling again and some have tried it for the first time. Let’s hope they continue, as we know that angling has many social, health and wellbeing benefits.

“I am glad that I could enjoy fishing as well in Amsterdam and also use the occasion to discuss key challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the recreational fisheries sector in the fresh air and get new ideas together with the EAA President.”

Bloot added: “We have a very busy year ahead and have high ambitions for our sector so it was very useful to exchange views with MEP Herbst on how to work towards an inclusion of the recreational fisheries sector in the Common Fisheries Policy.

“Herbst’s participation in this fishing trip demonstrates that our sport deserves the full attention of the EU decision-makers on the Fisheries Committee which plays a key role in defining the region’s fisheries policy.”

The fishing trip was also attended by Peter Steven (Policy Advisor to Niclas Herbst), Stefan Spahn (EAA Board Member), David Vertegaal (Marine Officer, Sportvisserij Nederland and EAA contact point on the Common Fisheries Policy) and Julie Changivy (RecFish Forum Secretariat).

MEP Herbst (left) is pictured with EAA President Fred Bloot. Picture: EAA.

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