About the project
Sea Angling 2012 is a brand new initiative enabling sea anglers in England to contribute to the scientific understanding of fish stocks off our coasts and how they are changing over time, and to ensure that the needs of sea angling can be represented as effectively as possible in future marine policy. It will provide the most comprehensive information yet collected on recreational sea angling activities, its catches, and its social and economic value in England.
Major initiatives are happening within Europe, including reform of the EU Common Fisheries Policy, the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and our own UK Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, to improve the state of the seas and restore overfished and depleted fish stocks to a healthier state.
The Marine and Coastal Access Act provides, for the first time, the possibility to balance the different needs of commercial and recreational fishing, and take into account their social and economic importance. Data from Sea Angling 2012 will allow the Government to make balanced and properly-informed decisions on management for sustainable development of all forms of sea fishing around our coasts.
The Marine and Coastal Access Act gives sea anglers the possibility to have greater input into future marine policy decisions at a national and regional scale. The ten new inshore fisheries and conservation authorities, working with their local sea angling experts, will be able to use data collected from a broad cross section of anglers during Sea Angling 2012 to help inform their policy decisions. They will need good quality data that can be evaluated alongside equivalent information on commercial fishing and other marine activities, because any policy decisions will have to be strongly based on evidence. Sea angling bodies will be able to use the data from Sea Angling 2012 to help develop their own views and policies.
The results of Sea Angling 2012 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 (PDF 1.8 MB). 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. Regulation 1224/2009 places a specific requirement to monitor all types of catches of depleted stocks subject to EU recovery plans, but only requires recreational catches to be recorded for fishing boats on a national register, such as charter boats.