Anglers of all disciplines have reacted furiously to comments by actor Robson Green about releasing fish. While publicising his new TV series, he reportedly said that he can’t understand anglers who release fish and incorrectly claimed that up to 9 out of 10 of them die.
The Angling Trust strongly disagrees with Robson Green’s views on this matter. It has been repeatedly demonstrated that fish can be caught and returned alive to the water without them suffering any significant stress or damage. In his latest series, we note that he himself returned most of the fish he caught.
If every angler followed Mr. Green’s advice, fish stocks would be decimated. Most coarse fish are not regarded as good to eat in any case, but many sea and game anglers now return most of their catch alive. Commercial fishing, illegal netting, pollution, over-abstraction and habitat damage have reduced many fish populations to critical levels and anglers do everything they can to try and protect stocks, investing millions each year on conservation initiatives.
The Angling Trust would advise all responsible anglers to release the fish they catch. We would also point out that all responsible anglers always treat their quarry with great respect, whatever they choose to do with them.
We know he has a television series to promote, but these comments are highly irresponsible, misinformed and damaging to angling. As the voice of angling, the Angling Trust is keen to ensure that the general public do not the wrong impression about a pursuit in which millions of people participate responsibly.