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Industry urged to react to rod licence decline


The Angling Trades Association (ATA) – the organisation that represents the industry in the UK – has called for more support following a further decline in rod licence sales in October.

The figures, revealed by the Environment Agency (EA), which issues licences, show that sales in England fell by 6.12% and in Wales by 10.78% compared to the same period last year. 

“Numbers continue to show a slow decline and the whole industry needs to consider how we grow the market as opposed to managing volume reductions,” said ATA Vice Chairman Mike Heylin (pictured).

The ATA continues to work with the Canal and River Trust and others to develop new anglers and is in discussion with the EA about future potential growth models. It has relaunched its Get Into Fishing (GIF) initiative and recently revealed an agreement for a GIF village at the UK’s three major game fairs in 2023.

But Heylin is concerned that in many areas of the country the fishing club infrastructure is too poor to easily engage with and develop new anglers over the long term.

“We need more clubs to have dedicated junior angling sections with teach-ins and skills practice so that angling competes with other sports like soccer, rugby, hockey, tennis, cycling and so on,” he told Angling International.

“The ATA is working with the EA and other partners on the next National Angling Strategy and is concentrating on the necessary infrastructure to get people to develop the fishing habit.”

The ATA is also looking at a way for its members to provide tax efficient support for angling development and market growth.

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