Thanks for coming here to find out about the exciting new Sea Angling 2016 project. It is a follow up to the Sea Angling 2012 project, which showed the huge economic and social importance of sea angling in England, and helped sea angling bodies and government to make better informed decisions on policies for promoting the long term conservation of our valuable fish stocks.

The first stage has been to conduct a survey involving over 4,000 anglers to recruit a sample of 600 to do a Diary Survey throughout 2016. The purpose of the Diary Survey is to find out more about the importance of sea angling, including:

  • What is being caught
  • How much is being spent on the sport

Diarists will keep a diary recording their fishing trips, catches and expenditure on sea angling in 2016.

We still need to recruit anglers who live in Northern Ireland and Scotland – so if you live in either of these countries and will fish in the sea this year, please email us now:

`What will the Project Involve?

i) Questionnaire

The first part of the research involved a survey of thousands of anglers to get basic information about how often they fished in the sea in 2015, how often they might fish in the sea in 2016 and whether they would be willing to take part in a diary survey in 2016.

ii) Sea Angler Diaries

Throughout 2016 hundreds of anglers will complete a diary of what they catch and what they spend on sea angling.

Although initial recruitment has taken place, if you would like to register interest in taking part take part , please email


Who is Doing the Sea Angling 2016 Research?

The research is commissioned by Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) on behalf of the UK governments and is being carried out by Substance who have undertaken a wealth of research to support the development of angling in the UK in the last decade. For more information on Substance’s work, see our Angling Research site.

The data collected will enable national and local policy makers to make informed decisions on fisheries management, and provide the sea angling community with information to help them develop their own views and policies. This will benefit anglers and businesses while helping to conserve and improve fish stocks by ensuring management decisions are based on the best possible scientific data.Data from Sea Angling 2016 will allow the governments in the UK to have as accurate a picture as possible about sea angling in the UK – what is caught and what is spent – so that they can make properly-informed decisions on management for sustainable development of all forms of sea fishing around our coasts.

The results of the diary study will help the UK meet its obligations to report on recreational catches of certain species as specified by the EU Data Collection Framework and the EU Council Regulation 1224/2009. The Data Collection Framework was established in 2002 to encourage EU Member States collect sufficient data to allow the state of European fish stocks to be monitored as accurately as possible by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas and by the EU Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries. It requires collection of recreational fishery data from all forms of non-commercial fishing from shore and boats.

What was Sea Angling 2012?

Sea Angling 2012 was a multi-faceted research project that over 11,000 anglers to provide information on what they caught and what they spent. It estimated that:

  • There are 884,000 sea anglers in England, 2% of all adults
  • They spent £1.23billion on the sport, supporting 23,600 jobs once indirect and induced effects are into account
  • The most common species caught, by number, were mackerel and whiting.
  • Shore anglers released around 75% of the fish caught, many of which were undersized, and boat anglers released around 50% of their fish.

Sea Angling 2012 has helped local and national policy makers make balanced, well-informed decisions on sustainable development of all forms of sea fishing, and help other organisations – such as sea angling bodies – to develop their own policies.

You can access more information about Sea Angling 2012 by downloading the Final Report here.

Who is funding the research?

The research is conducted in conjunction with:

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science

Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Northern Ireland

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Scottish Government

Marine Scotland

WG Logo

Questions and Answers

Click here to download some FAQs about the project