The Environment Agency’s (EA) new strategy* “a better environment, healthier fisheries” is a positive recognition of the enormous social and economic benefits of angling, but the Countryside Alliance is concerned that its target for increasing the number of anglers is not nearly ambitious enough.
The strategy for 2006-2011 wants “fisheries to play a greater role in
“The role of the EA, which is funded to the tune of £18m per year by anglers through rod licence sales, should be to join with other Government departments to aid the anglers and bodies who are already providing real benefit, and to provide the resources to bring more people into angling.
“Action is needed to ensure angling’s long term future, and there is no better example than the Alliance-backed Get Hooked on Fishing initiative, which began in Durham a few years ago and now has sister initiatives in Birmingham and Liverpool. By introducing children who had been involved in youth crime and truancy to fishing, 98% of those on the scheme have not re-offended.