#fishing #angling Anglers in England and Wales have been given a unique opportunity to highlight the issues that matter to them and their fishing by the Environment Agency, which has commissioned the Angling Trust to carry out the largest ever survey of freshwater and sea anglers.

The 10 minute online survey (www.anglingtrust.net/nationalanglingsurvey) was launched today and will be live until Friday 31st August. It aims to find out the issues that are important to anglers so that more can be done to increase angling participation and improve the quality of fishing available. It will be promoted to anglers through thousands of fisheries, angling clubs, tackle shops and via the Environment Agency's database of anglers. All anglers, from novices to experts, are encouraged to take part.

The survey is part of a National Angling Participation Plan which aims to introduce more people to fishing and to help existing anglers fish more often through improving access, providing information and improving fish stocks. The Plan is being co-ordinated by the Angling Trust, which is the representative body for angling in England, but it will involve scores of other organisations who are dedicated to improving angling and increasing participation. A series of meetings will be held throughout the summer with these organisations and the Plan will be launched in the autumn at an Angling Summit with Environment and Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon MP.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said: "As anglers we are great at coming up with excuses for bad days and poor catches but we are less active in pressing the powers that be for solutions. This survey is an opportunity for anglers to tell us and the Environment Agency about the things that are important to them. They might be issues with access, poaching, predation, pollution or a lack of affordable local places to take youngsters fishing. Whatever matters to anglers matters to us. The survey will help us prioritise our campaigns and programmes of work to improve fisheries, increase fish stocks and deliver more angling participation. It only takes ten minutes to complete, but its results will benefit angling for many years to come."

Geoff Bateman, Head of Fisheries and Biodiversity at the Environment Agency said: "I am delighted to be supporting the National Angling Survey being carried out by the Angling Trust. This is the first step towards a new National Angling Participation Plan which will play a major role in shaping the future of angling, including how the Environment Agency will deliver its responsibilities toward angling. I encourage everyone to get involved in the online survey - it's quick, easy and your views really will count".

NOTES TO EDITORS:
1. The Survey is available here: www.anglingtrust.net/nationalanglingsurvey

2. The survey is being carried out by the research co-operative Substance. Substance carried out a three year study into the Social and Community Benefits of Angling to communities which concluded in 2012, supported by the Big Lottery Fund (see www.resources.anglingresearch.org.uk).

3. Individual responses to the survey will be completely confidential and participants can opt out of being contacted in future by the Angling Trust and/or Substance.

4. Angling is one of the nation's favourite pastimes and several million people go fishing each year. It generates £3.5 billion for the economy and employs more than 37,000 people. Angling is also very beneficial to health and well-being and as a diversion from anti-social behaviour. Tens of thousands of anglers volunteer to help look after waterside environments, most pollution incidents are reported by anglers and freshwater anglers contribute £26 million a year in rod licence fees that help fund the Environment Agency's work to improve and develop freshwater fisheries.

5. A high resolution version of the screenshot image above can be downloaded HERE.

CONTACT:
For further information contact:
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive
07973 468 198
mark.llo&#12 1;d@anglin&# 103;trust.n&#101 ;t



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