THE debate on sea angling in the House of Commons on September 8th showed that more interest in sea angling is emerging in Whitehall, according to Ted Tuckerman, chairman of the National Federation of Sea Anglers.

“The debate forced Ben Bradshaw, fisheries minister, to acknowledge the importance of Britain’s 1.2 million sea anglers and admit conservation was in the interests of sea anglers and commercial fishermen alike though he said  ‘the latter sometimes take some convincing.’”

The debate came about because Robert Key (Conservative MP for Salisbury) a sea angler himself, was encouraged by several members of BASS, the NFSA, and Sea Anglers’ Conservation Network to raise the subject in parliament.  

“Mr. Key asked us for a brief which he used as part of a masterly 11-minute speech supporting the same issues of conservation and the economic value of sea angling which we have been pressing on the government,”

“Our members and those joining the federation expect us to continue to push for government action.  We are, and making their voice heard right up to the top of government,” said Mr. Tuckerman.

The NFSA is taking part in the study ordered by the prime minister into the future of British fisheries.  The federation’s development officer, David Rowe, is a consultant to DEFRA in its research into the impact of sea angling on coastal economies.