£4.3 million investment
THE Angling Trust has been responsible for promoting angling to newcomers since 2015, and has been given a whopping £4.3 million, but that hasn’t halted the decline at all. The Trust won a tender from the Environment Agency to promote angling, and has received the huge sum over the 3.5-year term of the National Angling Strategic Services contract.
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Trust, said: “As the EA starts work on updating their angling strategy Fishing for Life Mark for the next Lloyd five years, we really need to recognise that the decline in angling numbers both here and oversees is part of a wider trend, and that it will need radical action to get more young people into the fishing habit.
“We need stronger engagement from the angling trade and from government if we are to make progress. Yesterday the Prime Minister announced an end to austerity, and we hope that means an end to slashing the budgets of the Environment Agency and getting more resources back into outdoor education and community projects.
“We need to make angling part of young people’s everyday lives, and we will campaign and build programmes to get angling into the school curriculum and part of the growing Scouts and Guides movement.
“This situation is a challenge for all of us, as every year the age profile of those going fishing gets older and older.
“The angling media, trade, representative organisations like ourselves, the EA, fishing clubs, coaches, guides, schools and even individual anglers need to step up to the plate and recognise that our sport will wither away unless we can get more people back fishing.
“Government funding for fisheries and angling has been cut dramatically over the past decade, and the £20m rod licence income now makes up the vast majority of the money spent by the EA managing fisheries throughout England, where it used to be almost matched by the Government.”