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Anglers told how nearly £21m of licence fees benefits fishing


Nearly £21 million of fishing licence revenue collected in England in 2022/23 has been invested into fisheries.

In its Annual Fisheries Report, the Environment Agency (EA) – the body responsible for the protection and improvement of the Environment in England – sets out how the £20,900,000 in income from the 900,000 licence fee sales has been reinvested in maintaining, improving and developing fisheries as well as carrying out surveys of fish stocks, improvements to habitats and restocking more than 450,000 coarse fish.

One of the key projects largely funded through fishing licence income is the Environment Agency’s National Fisheries Laboratory, based in Cambridgeshire. It carries out vital work to identify, monitor and limit current and future threats such as fish diseases and non-native species on fisheries and the environment.  

The EA says that work undertaken by the laboratory is pivotal to the ongoing monitoring of the health of fish populations. In 2022/23, £562,000 was invested into the laboratory. This allowed for the assessment of 112 fish mortality events relating to potential fish disease. Forty health checks were carried out to enable safe stocking of over half a million fish and over 1,500 queries were responded to in support of national incidents, fishery management advice and guidance.

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Manager, said: “Funding from fishing licence money feeds into every aspect of an angler’s experience, improving fish stocks, providing new facilities and helping to protect our environment. Our fisheries staff also use their expertise to support wider environmental work with specialist advice and guidance.

“It is great to see the work that we have been able to carry out with our partners, using the money made to invest directly back into our fisheries and angling services.”

Funded directly by fisheries licence income, the Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP) has funded 198 projects that have helped to improve and protect rivers, construct fish passes and enhance stillwater fisheries.

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