Home | Sitemap | Set as homepage | Add to favorites
  Search the Site     » Advanced Search
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa

Sea anglers fail to bite license bait (Updated 28 Mar 07)

Mar 18,2007 SACN

A carrot and stick government promise of improved services and benefits but with a license scheme to fund them has been rejected by sea anglers’ representatives.

It is the core of proposals by the environment department (Defra) to develop recreational sea angling (RSA) in England and Wales by recognising both its economic importance and reliance on effective management of fishstocks.

The National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA) strongly opposes it unless Defra first delivers tangible improvements for sea angling.  It has kept Defra informed of anglers’ views on its emerging proposals for over two years.

In a White Paper* Defra says it will “help support” actions to improve sea angling but only after making anglers buy licenses to fish.

“That means sea anglers would be paying to put right the damage caused by years of over exploitation by commercial fishing allowed through the neglect of successive governments,” said Richard Ferré, chairman of the NFSA  “That is Defra’s responsibility.

“Commercial overfishing must be stopped to allow fish to grow larger and anglers have better access for fishing before they will countenance licensing,” he said.  

“Until that happens there are few fish in the sea worth buying a license to catch.

Defra should first provide the scientific data to manage fishstocks,  protect and improve access for anglers to beaches, shore structures and car parking and create both artificial reefs to attract fish and more facilities to launch small boats. 

He said anglers feared any licence money would go largely to pay for a new organisation to issue and enforce licenses and none would be used  to improve sea angling.

Defra also wants license money to pay to display rules, codes of conduct and other data on the shore, at boat launching sites and aboard angling charter vessels.

Mr. Ferré believes the Marine Bill foreshadowed by the White Paper is unlikely to come into force until 2009.  “That is plenty of time for Defra to show commitment to helping sea angling to continue to thrive and increase its already substantial contribution to the coastal economies of England and Wales.”    

The White Paper says controls will only be imposed on recreational sea angling on a case-by-case basis, for particular species “where justified on conservation or enforcement grounds.” and they would be subject to consultation.

It admits there had been mixed reactions to licensing and bag limits from anglers and other interested parties as a means of controlling their activities but asserted there was some support provided there were clear benefits to anglers from the revenue generated.

Defra says it wants sea fisheries committees (SFCs) to be effective and to focus firmly on fishing activity and its impact on the marine ecosystem.  Membership of each committee should be limited to 15 including seven representing commercial fishing and recreational angling.

It wants SFCs to introduce interim measures at short notice to prevent, stop or introduce restrictions on damaging activities such as  new types of destructive fishing gear or to regulate long-standing practices in the light of new information.

The White Paper highlights the impact on the marine environment of many activities, including bait digging and bait collection, and the need for sea fisheries committees to manage these through by-laws. 

On marine protected areas (MPAs) the white paper says that the government has an obligation to establish an ecologically coherent network of them and that responses to the marine bill consultation document last year “indicated overwhelming support” for such areas focussed on the conservation of biodiversity.

Sea anglers and everyone else interested have until June 8 to tell Defra how and why they believe the proposals in the White Paper should be changed.  


*** 28 Mar 07 ***

Sea anglers protest at licence proposals 


Related news

» Transformed SFCs to be responsible for Angling
by SACN posted on Mar 17,2007
» Increased Regulation of Bait-Digging
by SACN posted on Mar 16,2007
» Draft Marine Bill Launched
by SACN posted on Apr 03,2008
» Marine Bill White Paper Launch - 15th March
by SACN posted on Mar 09,2007
» More and Bigger Fish
by SACN posted on Dec 06,2007

comment Comments (4 posted) 
  • I am really shocked at this complete back door proposal for the sea fishing licence. Isn't it yet again another stealth tax we would have to pay, all in the name of conservation. At least thats what we are led to believe, but is it really going to improve fish stocks around the UK, I doudt it. Like everything with this greedy government it will become just another means of lining the governments pockets. I am a avid conservationist who is aware of the state of the sea and the fish stocks, but perhaps they should be looking at the fact the sea is over fished by gigantic trawlers from Iceland, Norway and many many more places. I am also a sea angler, who if I am lucky may catch one or maybe two fish every few months. But its not only the actual catching of the fish, but the freedom to fish when and where I choose along the coast of Britain. How is it that we can allow yet another freedom to be taken away from us, and yet no one seems to even care or be aware. Is it the intention to employ hundreds of bailiffs to patrol our coast line to make sure we have a licence or maybe they would board small boats ar sea to check for fishing rods and fish? Or is it a case of once that freedom has gone, then we as typical Brits then shout with dismay! Too late then. We have eneogh taxes and licences to pay already in this country. Many people who are not working or who just can't afford too pay for anything extra will suffer if this is introduced. Don't let this become yet another rich mans sport. Why are there no petitions to MP's? Come on Brits take a stance for once and be heard. We don't want this sea fishing licence!!
(Posted on March 4, 2008, 11:39 pm Kevin White)

  • As someone who fishes in the sea I would assume that I am classed as a sea angler. The first I heard of this proposal to licence sea fishing was Wednesday February 27th 2008. Apathy? Ignorance? Lack of information? I don't know. Perhaps we weren't supposed to know pre-'fait accompli' announcement.
(Posted on March 1, 2008, 8:14 pm gordon bellars)

  • Glenn. I think you are a bit unfair. Since when has NFSA -or any RSA body for that matter- had the powers to dictate the commercial fisheries biased DEFRA anything? Be happy that there is a consultation round -and that you are told about it. Now it is time for all to respond to it. (ed Glenn's comments have been deleted)
(Posted on July 14, 2007, 3:05 pm JK)

  • I can never be happy that we have consultation. The time period for the RSA strategy of which the licence issue is central has been too short and has been a complete failure. At the outset of the RSA strategy the Inshore fisheries working group was formed. They gave them selves several objectives to meet. 2 significant ones were items 13 and 14 ------------------------------------------------ 13. It was agreed that the RSA group must be representative of the vast majority of stakeholders, including individuals, representative groups, tackle dealers and charter operators. 14. Channels for communicating with RSA stakeholders were discussed, including regional and angling press and Fishing Focus. It was noted that Sea Angling News it not widely available, and Sea Angler is more widely read by ‘new’ anglers. Richard Ferre offered space in the NFSA newsletter for any Defra announcements relevant to his members. Reel Life, the Environment Agency (EA) newsletter for anglers could also be used. ----------------------------------------------------- With consultation only months away at Maximum these objectives have not been met. Anglers bye and large know nothing of the the Recreational sea angling strategy. As a member of the Whitby forum said only the other day " how the hell can clubs and members make their views heard if the only 100 odd people that know about it around here are the ones on this forum" My prediction for the outcome of the consultation is as follows : RSA strategy goes to consultation. Hardly anyone replies to consultation because noboddy has ever heard of it (IFWG has failed on their objectives 13 and 14 and have been unable to communicate with anglers). As noone replies government walks all over us and introduces Licences, bag limits and bait collecting restrictions. NFSA turns around and says don't blame us we said it was a bad idea - LETS BLAME ANGLER APATHY. Only time will tell, but I would bet my house on it.
(Posted on March 23, 2007, 10:37 am Glenn Kilpatrick)

More Top News
Conservation and Political News
Most Popular
Most Commented