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 Post subject: Sea Angling 2012
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 6:03 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Deal
I do not like bringing politics into angling, however … Last year there was quite a bit of talk about Sea Angling 2012 survey. This is a survey that the EU has insisted that England participate in, and not to do so will land the British Government with a fine. I am not sure why the EU requires these details from us, although some of the EU countries do licence their sea anglers and impose other types of restrictions.

The debate about this survey has been from ‘tell then nothing’ to ‘if they do not know then they will make it up’. The general consensus is that sea anglers just want to go fishing when and where they want and have no restrictions whatsoever. Unlike freshwater anglers, most would agree that there are not many improvements to be made to our sport as you cannot restock the sea.

Many anglers state if the government do bring in licences then they would not buy one and it would be impossible to police. Nevertheless, freshwater licence sales are good and few try and get away without paying. If confronted by a couple of officials even the most militant would back down and after a few convictions most would conform. I for one would not want to be looking over my shoulder all the time whilst fishing and would buy a licence. In total supposition these licences, no doubt, would cost £20 plus just to cover the administration.

I believe originally that the local IFCA (ex Kent and Essex Sea Fishery in this area) were going to approach anglers regarding the survey. Talk had it that there might be a health and safety aspect to this as one poor chap up north got a beating just talking to other anglers about it.

Yesterday when I was in the tackle shop I noticed a poster which inquired if we sea fished at Deal. With this was a form which invited me to do an online survey for a couple of universities. Reading more of the pamphlet I noticed that it forms part of the wider Sea Angling 2012 survey. These findings will then be passed onto DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and MMO (Marine Management Organisation) both fishery departments of the Government and are the ones who deal with the commercial fishermen and put quotas on their catches. Yet the pamphlet stated that Deal has been chosen to be part of a national study looking into the Economic and Social Value of Sea Angling.

Curious I logged onto this website to have a look at the questions. According to the pamphlet I could be bribed … sorry, have chances of winning a prize of rods, reels and more, in a prize draw. I could not access more than page one of the questions unless I started to fill in the survey. However, the website was very informative and also the Facebook site as well with who was behind the questionnaire.

So there you have it. As I said I hate politics in angling and I hate stealth ways of getting information that could be used against me. Unfortunately a lot of anglers do not know what’s going on and do not really care … which is fair enough. Nevertheless, think before you fill in any appraisals about sea angling and form your own opinion. By the way there is no law that can make you answer any questions about your sport to an official or even an innocent looking woman carrying out a survey.


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 Post subject: Re: Sea Angling 2012
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:03 pm
Posts: 267
Location: Thanet
I really cant make my mind up on this one a good case can be made for giving it a wide berth and for helping only time will town.
The angling Trust has recently published replies to members questions on this area on another forum which I have reproduced below makes interesting reading and highlightas all the issues


Sea Angling 2012 Survey
39. Question from GTB: Regarding the 2012 survey, it is the most important issue to RSA's. For the biggest representative of angling in this country to sit on the fence is not good enough and with the links on your site showing which way you lean, some clarity is required as to where the AT stands on Sea Angling 2012.
Our position has been made very clear. There are potential great benefits from having a survey of the economic benefits of angling that will help us win arguments about access and the conservation of fish stocks for the benefit of recreational anglers. However, there is also a threat of the information being used to justify restrictions on angling. We asked for assurances that it would not be used in this way, but before the outcome of the survey is known, Defra and Cefas were unwilling to provide these assurances. They couldn’t be seen to reach their conclusions before carrying out the work. Therefore we have made every effort to let our members know of the potential benefits, but also the risks of taking part in the survey. Every position that we could take on this could be justifiably criticised. If we support the survey and then it leads to restrictions on anglers then we [b]could have helped cause great damage to our freedom to carry out our sport. Alternatively, if we managed to force a boycott by all anglers then an opportunity to generate reliable government data about the value of our sport to the local economy might have been lost. The position we have taken of providing information but no view either way reflects the fact that as well as those anglers who oppose the project there are significant numbers who are in support of it and a huge number who have no idea about it at all – and these anglers need to be given the opportunity to make their own decision about whether to contribute to the project or not.40. Question from toonfireman
Your fence sitting over the 2012 fish count, is worrying for RSAs, if this leads to restriction and regulation, RSAs will have every right to say your participation helped in that act and why are you involved when the only legal requirement the EU has set is for charter boats, so why allow all facets of sea angling to be dragged into it?
We are not supporting the project. If the results are used to try and restrict angling we will fight these restrictions. If we opposed the project and it went on to show that anglers have little impact on fish stocks but provide a very valuable social and economic contribution then, having opposed it, we wouldn’t be in a position to try and capitalise on the benefits. In addition, the project would be taking place whether we were involved or not and we are not in a position to limit the data collection just to charter boats. It is important for anglers to realise the very difficult position that this puts us in and the careful line that we have to tread.
41. Question from Jules
The Angling Trust has taken the line that it will allow anglers to make up their own mind about the ‘Angling 2012’ project. While the Trust has served the steering of the project and made numerous statements in support of Angling 2012, why has the Trust not advised sea anglers of the potential dangers in parting with their data, including a full explanation of what the ‘Data Collection Frame Work’ is all about?
As a member of the steering group we have made anglers concerns about the potential negative application of the data very clear to the people involved. Our position is set out in the article in our last members’ newsletter below:
“One of the big issues that is likely to dominate the sea angling agenda over the next 12 months is this controversial project being carried out by Defra and Cefas. Sea Angling 2012 will assess the environmental and economic impact of sea angling in England. Many anglers fear that the results of the survey will be used to restrict or unnecessarily regulate sea angling. Others see the collection of catch data from sea angling as the only way of having reliable evidence to influence the decision making process. Which of these points of view is correct has been the subject of fierce debate but so far the lack of trust between the sea angling community and Defra has resulted in a great deal of negativity about the project.
The Angling Trust is represented on the steering group for the project so that we can be involved in the decision making process and do our best to influence the project for the benefit of sea angling. While we have concerns over the project and its outcomes we do not feel it is our position to either condemn or support the project. Instead we believe our responsibility is to provide information about the project to our members in a neutral and unbiased way and we are recommending that you make your own, informed and independent decisions about whether you feel the project will benefit sea angling or not. As the project progresses we will be regularly updating members via our email updates and via the website. Make sure you check in regularly for all the latest news and developments.”
To say that we have made “numerous statements in support of Sea Angling 2012” is factually incorrect. A blog post on our website by Malcolm Gilbert, which was promoted through our regular email newsletter, set out the concerns about providing data and reasons for distrusting Defra in relation to Sea Angling 2012. In addition David Mitchell wrote a full page article about the same subject which was published in Sea Angler magazine last year. A page detailing the EU legislation that affects, or might affect, sea angling will be included in the development of our new website which will be coming soon.

42. Question from bubbles: “Will AT be playing an active part in interpreting the Data from 2012? Can you also confirm AT role in the data gathering exercise. What are your own thoughts regarding Sea Angling 2012?”
One of the assurances we did get from the project team was that we would have access to the data that was collected and would be able to analyse it ourselves. With the help of fisheries scientists, statisticians and anglers involved in previous surveys and similar projects we will ensure that the data is represented as accurately and fairly as possible.
Our role is as a member of the steering group which meets regularly to advise the project leaders and ensure that the project is being undertaken accurately, fairly and in an unbiased way that could damage sea angling. We are not involved in the gathering of data other than to help ensure that it is done in the correct manner.
The Angling Trust’s view on Sea Angling 2012 is that it has potential benefits but also comes with the risk that significant restrictions on anglers’ freedoms could arise if the data were to show that anglers have any meaningful impact on fish stocks.

43. Question from Barry Luxton: To quote a recent AT Press Release: “A DEFRA funded project being carried out by Cefas, Sea Angling 2012, will begin in 2012 to assess the impact recreational angling has on commercially important stocks in England. The failure of successive Governments to do anything positive to support sea angling means there is a high degree of suspicion from within the sea angling sector that the data collected from this project will be used to restrict and control sea angling unfairly, rather than use the data (provided it is accurate and reliable) to develop and enhance the sport. There were a number of responses that mentioned recreational angling and that this activity should be subject to stricter controls. Currently, in many places there are no limitations placed on recreational angling. The Angling Trust will fight vociferously to ensure that a healthy and sustainable sport such as sea angling is not made a scapegoat for the failings of previous Governments to manage properly one of our most valuable publicly-owned resources”.
The above is an example of the trust talking the talk, so are we going to see some action? Will the 2012 count be used as a tool to strengthen the RSAs position with regards to the futility of offering management to something that isn’t broke? Will the trust show some courage to a worthless management takeover that was done without consultation btw?
When the project concludes and recommendations are made, we will respond appropriately in line with our clearly stated position above on behalf of our members, having consulted via our regional committees. I don’t understand what you mean by “show some courage to a worthless management takeover that was done without consultation”.


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