The Sea Angling Diary Project is enlisting sea anglers from across the UK to help improve the marine environment through better management of fish stocks and demonstrate the impact of sea angling on the country.
With anglers from across the UK already providing information through a bespoke, free online diary, the project is seeking to significantly expand numbers to improve the quality of information. Anglers of all abilities are being asked to sign up - whether you’re a time served, year-round dedicated sea angler or you fish in the sea occasionally, maybe on holiday. Anglers based in Northern Ireland and Scotland are particularly encouraged to participate!
You can join the study by completing a short survey here: www.seaangling.org
The project, which began life as Sea Angling 2016 has been re-named the Sea Angling Diary Project. Information gathered will be used to calculate the numbers of people fishing and where and how often they do it; and the economic value of sea angling to the UK economy. Crucially it will show what is caught and where – and the proportions of fish returned as well as kept - to show the real impact of angling on the environment.
Those who take part receive a:
Free log in to a unique Online Catch Diary Tool to record fishing trips and catches. Diary Kit comprising: a Sea Fish Identification Booklet; waterproof catch recording notebook; tape measure.
An online guidance document explaining how to use the diary and support via email or phone when required.
Access to the brand new Sea Angling Diary Mobile App which is scheduled to launch in June 2019 - designed to operate alongside the online web diary, the mobile app will allow you to record your catch on the go!
A chance to win prizes in our monthly prize Draw – everyone completing their diary will have the chance to win £50 or £25 tackle vouchers, or a £25 Amazon voucher.
Quarterly Prize Draw - every three months - 500 electronic copies of Sea Angler magazine to be won!
The survey is funded by the UK Governments and commissioned by the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas). It is carried out by research company Substance, who have undertaken a wealth of research to show the impact of angling and support its development in the last decade (www.resources.anglingresearch.org.uk).
Dr Adam Brown from Substance said: ‘It is vital that we know more about sea angling in the UK so that it is properly represented. It is hugely important to get accurate data to support sea angling development, improve fish stocks and demonstrate its economic value. The more people that take part in our exciting Sea Angling Diary project, the better that data will be.’
Dr Kieran Hyder (Cefas) said, ‘It is really important that sea anglers contribute to this survey, as it will help build the evidence needed to improve our ability to conserve fish stocks. The survey aims to collect data that is as accurate as possible about what is caught, released and spent by sea anglers in the UK. This will help enable the sea angling community to demonstrate its real impact more effectively.’
Information collected will be published and provided to European, national and local policy makers to make better informed decisions on fisheries management, as well as provided to the sea angling community with information to enable them to develop their own views and policies.
The project is supported by a wealth of angling organisations, including: Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers, Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers, Fishing NI, Angling Trades Association, British Sea Fishing website. It reports to Dept of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Marine Scotland, Welsh Government and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland.
To find out more visit: www.seaangling.org
Contact: Dr Adam Brown, Head of Research at Substance: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anglers have been banned from taking bass during the whole of 2018 due to fears of a complete collapse of the species.
It means you can only fish catch and release for the popular species, but there are hopes of a relaxation of the rules later in the year to allow a one fish a day bag limit.
What it does mean is the European Commission’s threatened complete ban on any form of bass angling for the first six months of 2018 followed by six months of catch and release, as reported in issue 552 of Sea Angler, was rejected by EU Fisheries Ministers.
Those proposals prompted outrage from anglers and their representative bodies, who made strong representations, including a 18,000-signature petition, calling for no further restrictions on recreational bass fishing.
In December, EU Fisheries ministers announced a package of measures for 2018 in response to advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), which showed that the Northern European bass stock is crashing. It was nearly 19,000 tonnes in 2010, but the forecast for 2018 is just 6,414 tonnes, a fall of two thirds. It means the future regeneration of the stock is now critically endangered and the stock may remain depleted for extended periods.
Ministers announced that catch and release angling for bass all year round can continue with the prospect of a recreational bag limit in the second half of 2018, depending on a data review of the updated ICES advice in March.
There will be further limits on commercial bass fishing – 1.2 tonnes provision, rather than a by-catch, over 10 months for fixed nets (Feb-March closed); by-catch for demersal trawls and seines down to one per cent of catch capped at 100kg for trawls and 180kg for seines per month over 12 months; five tonnes per commercial rod and line vessel a year over 10 months, a reduction of 50 per cent (Feb-March closed).
The fact commercial fishing for bass was addressed pleased campaign groups, such as the Angling Trust, which is taking the view that the settlement “looks like about the best we were going to get in the context of the ICES stock assessment of bass numbers.”
The proposed ban by the European Commission on recreational fishing for bass in 2018 would criminalise thousands of people.
The proposals have stunned and infuriated anglers, who have had the lowest impact on bass stocks and have been calling for stronger conservation measures for decades. They would now be prevented from fishing for bass for the first six months of 2018 and prevented from keeping a single bass to eat throughout 2018.
Meanwhile, the Commission’s proposals would let commercial hook & line boats continue to catch up to four tonnes of bass each in 2018 – a measure that would only restrict one per cent of these UK boats.
Angling for bass has been valued at £200m in the UK and supports businesses and many thousands of jobs, which would be put at risk by the Commission’s proposals.
The Angling Trust and its partners, Save Our Sea Bass and the European Anglers Alliance, have called the proposals unfair and disproportionate and responded by launching a petition calling on UK Fisheries Minister, George Eustice, and other EU Fisheries Ministers to continue to allow the public to fish for bass throughout 2018 and keep up to one fish a day to eat from July until the end of 2018.
have also launched a campaign ahead of the fisheries debate in the House of Commons next month calling on the public to email their MPs asking them to support the right of anglers to fish for and keep bass.
Last week, the Angling Trust and Save Our Sea Bass published a position paper setting out their proposals to limit commercial fishing in 2018 to give the seriously depleted bass stock a chance to recover.
Anglers have already had severe restrictions imposed on them since 2015, when a daily bag limit, a higher legal minimum size and a closed period of six months were introduced.
David Mitchell, Head of Marine at the Angling Trust, said: ““Closing access for members of the public to fish for a publicly-owned fish stock such as bass is unacceptable while allowing commercial fishing operations to continue. It disregards both the rights of members of the public and the economic significance of businesses and jobs which rely on the money spent by anglers fishing for bass. The principle of fish stocks being publicly-owned is one we will defend to the hilt and we call on anyone who has ever fished for pleasure and eaten what they’ve caught to help us defend anglers' rights. Please sign the petition and join the Angling Trust today so that we can fight for the rights of anglers.”
David Curtis, from Save Our Sea Bass, said: “Angling is the most sustainable form of bass fishing, it delivers the greatest social and economic benefits by far, and it provides much needed income for many coastal communities. Excluding the public from the bass fishery whilst allowing commercial exploitation to continue would be an outrage and economic madness."
Owners of the UK’s charter fishing boats have called on the fisheries minister, George Eustice, to give his full support to EU proposals which would mean a fairer deal for anglers when the 2017 bass fishing opportunities are agreed by ministers in December.
Last year Mr Eustice angered Britain's 800,000 sea anglers by caving into pressure and agreeing to restrict members of the public angling recreationally for publicly-owned bass stocks whilst increasing catching opportunities for those fishing commercially.
Charter boats are projected to lose approximately £2.8m in bookings over the course of 2016 – approximately 50 per cent of the value of all recorded bass landed commercially into the UK. Anglers spend up to £600 a day chartering specialist bass fishing trips but bookings have been down as a result of the disproportionately restrictive measures banning anglers from retaining any bass for the first six months of the year, and then limiting them to just one fish per day for the remainder of 2016.
Ian Noble, Chairman of the Professional Boatman’s Association (PBA), which represents many of the UK’s charter boat operators, has written to the Minister calling on him to support the livelihoods and businesses of charter boats by backing the European Commission’s proposals for bass fishing opportunities in 2017 including limiting commercial fishing to hooks and lines only, introducing a two-month closed period to protect spawning bass and agreeing a fairer and more flexible monthly bag limit for recreational fishing.
In his letter Mr Noble writes, “The UK’s charter fishing fleet contributes many millions of pounds to the UK economy and to many coastal communities by providing a service to recreational sea anglers. Businesses, like my own, are reliant on members of the public choosing to go angling recreationally for publicly-owned sea fish.
We are small businesses, just like the under10m fleet, whose livelihoods are reliant on fishing opportunities. However, we believe that no consideration was given to our sector when the 2016 EU fishing opportunities were agreed. It is essential that a fairer deal is reached for the recreational angling and charter boat sectors in 2017."
The decline in bookings has also affected other businesses in coastal communities who rely on visiting anglers. “Anglers may fish for leisure but it's a leisure activity that is highly valuable and one on which many small businesses and jobs depend.”
David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s Head of Marine, said: “No one from government thought to consider how the very restrictive measures for recreational angling in 2016 were going to impact charter boats. Now that they are aware of the damaging impact it has had on the livelihoods of many people living in the UK’s coastal communities fairer and more flexible measures that support small business owners operating charter boats must be delivered by the fisheries minister for 2017.”
A new survey launched in October is seeking to recruit UK anglers for the Sea Angling 2017 catch and spend diary project, data which is anticipated to reveal more about the state and value of sea angling to the UK.
Sea Angling 2017 is an exciting project in which up to 1,000 sea anglers will be selected to complete a bespoke online catch diary next year and provide information about what they spend. The project seeks to account for what is caught, kept and released and what sea angling is worth, across the whole of the UK.
The survey is commissioned by the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and is being carried out by research company Substance, who have undertaken a wealth of research to support the development of angling in the UK in the last decade.
The first stage of this project is the Sea Angling 2017 survey in which anglers will record what sea fishing they do and whether they want to take part in the study. Those wishing to take part in the survey or find out more about the project should visit www.seaangling.org.
Dr Kieran Hyder (Cefas) said, ‘It is really important that sea anglers contribute to this survey, as it will help build the evidence needed to support the development of sea angling policy and improve our ability to conserve fish stocks.’
Benefits for anglers who participate in the Diary Study include:
- The chance to take part in the Sea Angling 2017 Diary Study. This will give you: access to a unique Online Catch Diary Tool to record fishing trips and catches; a sea fish identification booklet and catch recording kit (including bespoke waterproof catch recording notebook and tape measure)
- A personalised online dashboard to show their activity and catches.
- The chance to win tackle vouchers from Fishing Megastore.
All those who take part in the initial survey will be entered into a draw for 2x£50 tackle vouchers from Fishing Megastore. And those taking part in the diary study will be able to enter a draw for Fishing Megastore vouchers in every month they enter data next year.
The survey aims to collect data that is as accurate as possible about what is caught, released and spent by sea anglers in the UK. This will help enable the sea angling community to demonstrate its real impact more effectively. The data collected will be published and provided to national and local policy makers to make better informed decisions on fisheries management, as well as provided to the sea angling community with information to enable them to develop their own views and policies.
To find out more visit www.seaangling.org or contact Dr Adam Brown, Head of Research at Substance on: email@example.com. You can also connect via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/seaangling2017/
Angling organisations, who have been battling for a better deal for threatened bass stocks and for the introduction of sustainable forms of bass fishing, have today welcomed the announcement by the European Commission that should see the removal of damaging gillnets from the bass fishery in the North Sea, English Channel and North Atlantic.
If the proposals are adopted by the Council of Ministers at the forthcoming Fishing Opportunities meeting in December, commercial bass exploitation will be restricted to hook and line fishing only for ten months of the year in 2017, with a closure in February and March to protect spawning aggregations.
Recreational anglers will be allowed to retain ten fish a month during the ten month open season, as opposed to one fish a day for just six months as is currently the case.
Foot-long rods have featured in one of the most unusual sea fishing matches in the UK.
Competitors had to catch as many species as possible, armed with a tiny rod and reel normally used by anglers fishing through the ice in Scandinavia.
All places for the unorthodox match were filled within hours following an advert on social media, and it was hailed a huge success after competitors did battle with more than 20 different species including the biggest fish, a 12lb ray.
Bosses at Weymouth Angling Centre in Dorset pitched the proposal to local skippers Ryan Casey and Lyle Stanford, who run Supernova and Meerkat Charters, respectively
And such was the success of the unique fishing challenge, another event is being planned.
“There were 40 places available and within a few hours they were all sold out,” said Ryan Casey, skipper of the 11m BW Seacat ‘Meerkat’.
“With a full match booked, Weymouth Angling Centre contacted Fladen Tackle who provided the ice fishing rods, and it wasn’t long before we were out of the harbour and casting 2lb leads on pieces of carbon that were no longer than your foot!
“It was hilarious to watch but the rods were surprisingy sturdy and could handle the weight.”
Over the six-hour event anglers were allowed just five fish of any one species and could use only mackerel, ragworm or squid on the hook.
The angler who caught the most fish and accumulated the most points – all species scored differently – was declared the winner, and a separate prize went to the angler with the biggest fish.
Ryan Casey added: “More than 20 different species were landed, including wrasse, bream, dogfish and gurnards – with a 12lb undulate ray the biggest fish boated.
“A couple of the ice rods did break under extreme pressure but they’ve proved they can land fish well over 10lb.
“Next year we’re planning to stage a big-fish ice rod challenge targeting tope, rays, ling and conger eels – watch this space!”
A Portland fisherman who was rescued after activating his ACR Electronics ResQLink PLB is urging all boaters to carry a personal locator beacon when they go out to sea.
Simon Jones is one of more than 100 members of ACR’s ground-breaking initiative SurvivorClub which features first-hand tales of survival from people across the world who have used an ACR PLB or EPIRB to alert the rescue services.
The UK commercial fisherman was with a friend putting a new engine through sea trials for the first time on his 19-foot Fast Worker 19, Sole Trader B11, when he could not restart it. They had already covered about 25 miles out from Weymouth and it was getting late with no one else around. After several unsuccessful attempts to call for help using the radio and their phones, they knew that their only chance to avoid being left to drift as darkness fell was to use Simon’s ACR ResQLink PLB. The device was activated to contact the rescue authorities and they were soon located and successfully towed to safety by the RNLI.
“I always have my PLB when I go out in the boat and encourage everyone to do the same,” said Simon. “It is a very small cost for a device which can make such a big difference. When our engine failed, we had no radio signal, it was late and there was no one around, so the only option was the PLB. Luckily the boat itself was in fine shape, it was the engine that did not work, so we were towed to safety upon the RNLI and UK Coast Guard's response to my beacon call. We were very grateful that our PLB worked.
“I am usually out on my own, which makes it even more important that I carry a PLB, even though I am mostly just operating between Weymouth and St Alban’s Head. I am often in the Portland races which can be challenging. The ACR PLB is very small so you can attach it to clothing or a life jacket and barely notice it. I think making it mandatory to carry a PLB is a very good idea.”
Survivors from across the world who activated ACR Electronics beacons in a life-threatening emergency have joined the ACR SurvivorClub to share their stories and help raise awareness about the best practices to ensure safety, both on land and at sea.
Relating first-hand tales of survival when lost, injured or facing extreme weather conditions while boating, fishing, hiking and hunting, the outdoor enthusiasts came forward to demonstrate the effectiveness of carrying an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) or ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) to alert the rescue authorities.
The 100 survivor mark is celebrated during ACR Electronics’ diamond anniversary year. Available at this year’s Southampton Boat Show on the FORCE 4 CHANDLERY Stand (B017/J247), new products include its compact Firefly PRO SOLAS rescue lights, as well as its C-Strobes and C-Lights waterproof LED personnel distress lights. Additional products by ACR Electronics at this year’s show include the new GlobalFix V4 EPIRB and the ResQLink PLB, plus the AISLink CA1 and CB1 AIS transceivers.
For more information, go to www.acrartex.com/products/marine
FIPS-M World Boat Applications for Seniors and Youth
The Angling Trust is seeking talented Youth (17-21 years of age) and Senior boat anglers to come forward for the FIPS-M World Boat Championships which are being held in Croatia from 30th April to 7th May 2017.
Who can apply?
► Youthany Angling Trust individual member aged between 17 and 21 at the time of competing.
► Senior any Angling Trust individual member aged 21 or above at the time of competing.
How do I apply?
Download an application form from Angling Trust website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When’s the deadline for applying?
Your application must reach Angling Trust by no later than 30th September 2016.
Managers and Assistant Managers applications for Marine World & Home Internationals
Applications are being sought for Managers and Assistant Managers for all Marine World Championships and Home Internationals.
Who can apply?
Open to all individual members of the Angling Trust who feel they have the requisite experience and aptitude.
Seeking applications earlier will give the England Marine Selection Committee the opportunity to involve Managers and Assistant Managers in the selection process, and they will also look at offering them a longer commitment working in a managerial position.
When’s the deadline for applying?
Your application must reach Angling Trust no later than 31st October 2016.
New FIPS-M Veterans’ World Shore Angling Championship to be announced in 2017
Next year FIPS-Mer will be staging a Veterans’ World Shore Angling Championship. The rules will be the same as for a normal World Shore Championship and the competition will be held in Spain.
Who can apply?
Full details are still to be confirmed, but applications will be open to any individual members of the Angling Trust who will be over 55 at the time of competing.
When’s the deadline for applying?
Your application must reach Angling Trust no later than 12th December 2016.
Marine World Championship teams and Home International teams application forms are now available
Application forms for all the other Marine World Championships and Home Internationals are also available.
Who can apply?
Open to all individual members of the Angling Trust
When’s the deadline for applying?
Your application must reach Angling Trust no later than 12th December 2016.
The Angling Trust announced today that it will extend its role representing its growing membership of individual anglers, angling clubs, fisheries, riparian owners and tackle shop owners in Wales; something which was until now restricted to England.
The role will initially be limited to a short list of issues linked to ongoing campaigns that the Angling Trust is already running: salmon netting, agricultural pollution, unlawful canoe access, tidal lagoons, commercial over-exploitation of sea bass, cormorant and goosander predation, abstraction licensing and barriers to migration.
However, if there is substantial growth in membership as a result of this move, the Trust will consider taking on a full representative role as it does in England, campaigning on scores of other issues. It would then appoint new staff based in Wales and form an Angling Trust Cymru Committee.
Steffan Jones, angling guide and author, said: “Welsh angling, in all its forms, needs professional representation and the Angling Trust has proved that it can do this to a very high standard from its work over the past seven years since the English angling organisations unified. I believe that every angler, whatever they fish for, should be a member of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.”
A range of membership packages is available, starting at £29 a year for individuals. Angling club, fishery and riparian owner membership automatically includes a specially-designed public liability, employer’s and trustees’ insurance which is so competitive that it can save clubs and fisheries more than the cost of their membership subscription.
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “Welsh angling faces some immediate and very severe threats with a widespread decline in many marine and freshwater fish stocks, the potential for legislation to impose unlimited canoe access and proposals for multiple tidal lagoons which could cause huge damage to marine and migratory fish populations. If these threats are to be fended off, anglers must have professional representation in Welsh government, as well as in Westminster and Brussels, where many decisions affecting fisheries are made. We are limited in what we can do at the moment by resources, but if lots of anglers join up, we could do much more to protect fish and fishing in England and Wales in the future.”
There are currently three separate governing bodies for angling in Wales: the Welsh Salmon and Trout Angling Association, the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers and the Welsh Federation of Coarse Anglers. There is also an umbrella body called Angling Cymru. The Angling Trust has offered to work closely with all of these organisations, which are principally involved in running Welsh angling teams and angling development, to ensure that there is a united voice for all anglers.
Plans are afoot to create a British record sea fish list based on length rather than weight.
The British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee is considering introducing a separate record list to provide for claims made in respect of sea fish that are either protected and may not be landed, or for those caught on boats and returned alive without being landed for weighing.
Such a length-based record list is not intended to replace the weight-based version, but, if introduced, would stand alongside it.
It was agreed that the Committee will work towards introducing length-based lists on a staged basis, perhaps starting with a list for species that may not be landed, extending the scheme to other species or categories if the pilot is successful.
The protocol for claims and minimum initial qualifying measurements will be addressed in due course.