The NFA as the national governing body for freshwater angling welcomes the publication of the EA’s latest research. The most important aspect for the NFA is that it tells us that interest in angling remains high (3.5 million have gone freshwater fishing in the last 2 years) although participation has not increased and that there is a significant proportion of people who would be interested in going angling in the future (4.4 million).
This would suggest that the barriers to taking up the sport are growing and that as the governing body for the sport of freshwater angling we need to be working harder to reduce or remove barriers to participation where we can.
Taking into account that the key factors that would encourage potential freshwater anglers are,
1. having someone to go with
2. knowing somewhere local to go
3. information on how to fish
The NFA therefore has role to play in providing
1. membership and guidance through the network of affiliated angling clubs
2. information for new anglers through our website and by the development of our club directory
3. the further development of our coaching network, the development of closer links with schools, local authorities and local tackle shops to provide information and advice
The research gives much room for optimism – interest in Angling as a sport is very high at the moment but there is much work to be done in encouraging people to translate the interest or inclination into actually going angling.