Big Fish Column: If you care about the future of fishing have your say online
Anglers are being asked to make their voices heard.
They are being urged to make their views known on the issues that matter to them and their fisheries via an online survey at www.anglingtrust.net/membershipsurvey running this month and next.
The results of the survey will be used by the Angling Trust and Fish Legal to set and prioritise policies and campaigns for the year ahead and your opinion could help to shape angling both locally and nationally.
The Angling Trust and Fish Legal were launched just over five years ago and the organisations are seeking the latest views from their members and non-members alike to find out what anglers want to see happen.
The Angling Trust runs campaigns, and Fish Legal takes legal action, to fight numerous threats to fish stocks such as poaching, predation, pollution, habitat damage and over-abstraction.
The unified organisation also promotes the benefits of angling to society and protects anglers’ rights to go fishing. The trust also has a wide range of programmes to get more people fishing more often and manages a growing calendar of national and international competitions. The survey is intended to identify the top priorities for the angling community.
Over the past five years, the Angling Trust has been very successful recruiting clubs as members, and now has over 1,600 clubs and fisheries in membership, along with more than 100 trade members, but it has only recruited 17,500 individual anglers.
This is a small fraction of the large angling population and so the Angling Trust is asking anglers from all disciplines to let them know what else it can do, and what benefits it can offer, to persuade more individuals to support its work.
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “This angling survey is an important opportunity for anglers to give us their views not only about the work of their representative body but also on any issues that they feel are important to the future of angling.
“This might include worries about declining fish stocks, threats to anglers’ rights and the lack of young people coming into our sport. We will publish the results of the survey in November and will use it to prioritise our campaigns, and Fish Legal’s legal work, over the coming year. I urge everyone who cares about the future of fishing to have their say – it only takes 10 minutes.”
*An extended version of this column can be read at www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk
*Anglers wishing to report catches may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org