A new report highlights the social and economic contribution made by marine recreational fisheries to local and national economies in the UK.
The report, from the Angling Trust, illustrates the benefits of sea angling through a range of case studies.
From health and wellness benefits to creating jobs and supporting local businesses, the value of recreational sea angling has often been overlooked by policymakers, says the UK’s representative body for anglers.
With sea fishing recognised under the Fisheries Act 2020, policymakers must recognise the sectors significant contribution, adds the Trust.
The socio-economic value of sea angling is under-studied by comparison with other marine users and the Trust hopes the Government will invest in research to highlight the sector’s role.
It plans to collaborate with policymakers, academics and others within the sector to raise the profile of sea fishing as a key stakeholder.
“The sea angling sector contributes significantly to local and national economies, both directly and indirectly, through the tackle trade, angling tourism, charter boat operations and coaching – to name just a few,” said Hannah Rudd, Policy and Advocacy Manager at the Trust.
“Species like sea bass and bluefin tuna are flagship species for the recreational angling community and can generate huge sums for the economy.”
Malcolm Gilbert, Angling Trust Marine Advisory Group member, added: “After decades of being ignored and discriminated against, getting the recreational angling community to engage with management issues will take time. But over the long term, participation by recreational anglers in determining fisheries policies will bring significant socio-economic benefits to coastal communities, plus greater sustainability to marine fish stocks.”