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Lure fishing confirmed as top sector in France – and is still growing


Lure fishing in France represents more than 50% of the market share and is still experiencing growth in both freshwater and salt, according to a survey carried out on behalf of the country’s fishing trade body, GIFAP.

The report revealed that there were 18 million anglers in France in 2021 who contributed €555m to the French economy. Of those questioned, 80% were freshwater anglers and 20% enjoyed fishing at sea.

Stéphane Sence, Directeur General of GIFAP, said that the number of anglers is stable – even increasing following the efforts of local federations towards encouraging the younger generation. However, he added that the purchasing power of the French for leisure activities is declining due to significant inflation and a drop in the budget for leisure activities in general.

“Through several questions that fishermen were asked, it appears that environmental issues, fish stocks, environmental management and the tightening of regulations worry the vast majority,” said Sence. “Maritime regulations are a real subject that must be clarified as a priority.

“These regulations, which depends directly on the European Commission in Brussels, are becoming more and more noticeable. Over-regulation in France also amplifies this problem with additional quotas and maritime protected zones complicating matters.

“Various influential lobbies are creating real concerns among fishermen.”

Sence added that the survey indicated an evolution among consumers in their technical ability, practices and products they use – plus their concerns about the environment. “Fishermen specialise and are close to their brands, retailers and their world and also to the issues, resources and the environment.”

In a bid to reflect this new direction, Sence revealed that GIFAP is working on a new survey, Observatoire de la pêche 2024, which will look at the French sea fishing sector. “Regulations are evolving, and it is important to be able to evaluate the data from this growing market.”

Sence said that compared to the last survey, GIFAP has improved the precision and scope of the information collected. It has published a public version of the report alongside one reserved for its members which includes a complete study on brands, distribution, sales by technique and product typology.

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