The project invites sea anglers to provide information on how often they fish, what they catch and what they spend. This informs UK governments and angling federations about the value of sea angling for our economy and how marine fisheries can be managed more efficiently and sustainably
The Angling Trust is joining the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers and a wide range of other angling, marine and fishery organisations who support the project, including:
Sea angling is for the first time recognised and embedded in the Fisheries Act, and public funding has been provided to support and enhance the recreational sea fishing sector. More anglers using the Sea Angling Diary will help provide better data on the sector’s value and impact which is more important than ever as the UK government works with all of the fishing industry to improve and support the sustainable management of marine fisheries.
In an activity like sea angling, it is anglers themselves who need to provide that vital, first-hand information. In the Sea Angling Diary project, sea anglers volunteer as ‘citizen scientists’ and have, since 2016, provided data on over 48,000 sessions and 362,000 catch records from 216,000 hours of angling activity. They have also contributed to understanding the economic benefits, broader societal benefits around well-being, and the impacts of Covid on sea angling in the UK. The Angling Trust is joining forces with the project to call for more sea anglers to get involved in 2022 to further enhance our understanding of the sector.
Now is the chance for anglers to sign up – whether they fish in the sea every week or just once or twice a year. In return for participating, anglers get:
The Angling Trust’s support is part of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Trust, government department Defra (responsible for English fisheries), government marine scientists, Cefas, and angling research specialists, Substance. This will lead to greater cooperation in sea angling research, data collection and policy and funding development.
‘Many of us love to go sea fishing and are passionate about protecting our marine environment and fish stocks. Supporting the diary project will not only help us to do that, by providing valuable data, it will also provide further evidence to the government, and others, of the valuable economic and social contribution we make to many coastal communities around England and Wales.’
‘Sea anglers are an important set of eyes and ears on our coast. This great, hands-on initiative helps us understand the value that recreational sea angling brings to the UK economy. Knowing more about what and where they catch will also give us valuable insights to support the sustainable management of our fisheries. That’s why we have funded this project to support the future of this sport and I’m pleased that the Angling Trust has joined our call to anglers to get involved.’
‘We are pleased to engage Sea Anglers through the Diary Project for the fifth year running. Recreational angling is a highly valued industry in Wales, for leisure, tourism and wellbeing. We also recognise anglers as important stakeholders in fisheries management conversations. Whilst we are particularly proud of our seabass fishery in Wales, we are keen to learn more about who fishes what, where to explore the sustainable development of further recreational fisheries for your enjoyment’
‘Robust data on sea angling is vital to ensure that the needs of sea anglers are accounted for in fisheries management. Partnership with the Angling Trust in England on the Sea Angling Diary is a fantastic opportunity as it will improve data quality, increase the numbers of English sea anglers that contribute, and maximise the value of the outputs.’
‘We are delighted to now be working closely with both the Angling Trust in England and the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers in Wales to deliver an improved Sea Angling Diary project. It’s an exciting opportunity for the project to expand and put evidence from anglers themselves centre stage.’
The study was led by Centre for Environment, fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in collaboration with the research and technology company Substance It is funded by Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) and Welsh Government.
The project is supported by many parts of the sea angling community including:
Cefas is the government’s marine and freshwater science experts, working for healthy and productive oceans, seas and rivers and safe and sustainable seafood. Innovative, world-class science is central to our mission. We work to safeguard human and animal health, enable food security and support marine economies.
Substance is a research and technology company expert in research on the social impacts of sport and recreation. Substance is a specialist in research on angling and has led research into its social impacts in the UK for over a decade. Substance has developed the Sea Angling Diary App and manages the data collection for the Sea Angling Diary Project. Substance researched and wrote the National Angling Strategy 2019-2024 and produced Fishing for Answers: The Social and Community Benefits of Angling.
The Angling Trust is the representative body for all disciplines of angling in England, with thousands of individual members and hundreds of thousands of members of affiliated clubs. It is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association that uses the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK. Angling is one of the UK’s most popular pastimes and makes an important contribution to the UK economy, generating £4 billion annually and supporting 40,000 jobs. We represent more than 1,800 of the many angling clubs, fisheries and riparian owners throughout the UK, whose fishing rights are worth at least £1 billion. The value of those rights is largely dependent on the health of the freshwater and coastal marine environment.
Defra, the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, is responsible for improving and protecting the environment. It aims to grow a green economy and sustain thriving rural communities. It also supports our world-leading food, farming and fishing industries. Defra is a ministerial department, supported by 33 agencies and public bodies.
Welsh Government is responsible for ensuring that fish stocks remain sustainable, fish health and welfare is monitored, that legislation for sea and inland fisheries is implemented correctly and that Welsh fishing interests are protected and promoted. Within Welsh Government the Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science & Evidence Branch are the government’s marine and freshwater science experts, working for healthy and productive seas and rivers, and safe and sustainable seafood. We work to safeguard human and animal health, enable food security and support marine economies.