Angling Trust's Fishing Out of Lockdown Appeal

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Angling Trust's Fishing Out of Lockdown Appeal

Angling Trust has submitted a case to the DCMS and the Cabinet Office for the removal of the current travel restrictions for angling and a resumption in match and night fishing when the lockdown is eased.


Once again, Angling Trust is the voice of anglers is pursuing a better situation for all anglers, making it’s the fourth time in 10 months. On 11th February 2021, Angling Trust made a detailed submission to Government outlining the case for angling so that as Ministers meet to consider which Covid restrictions to ease, there is more pressure for the resumption of competition and night fishing as long as guidelines are followed.

The 4 key areas where the Angling Trust are seeking changes are:

  • The resumption of socially distanced match fishing to Covid Guidelines
  • The return to ‘outdoor recreation without time limit’ to allow night fishing
  • An end to the current travel restrictions for outdoor recreation
  • The resumption of private and charter boat fishing as previously

Currently, angling is under the strictest conditions since the beginning of the pandemic, you can view the rules for anglers in Lockdown 3, here. Momently, angling is only permitted as part of 'daily exercise’ and can only take place ‘locally’.

Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said:

“Our submission makes it crystal clear that when the time is right there is no reason why all disciplines of angling, including match fishing, angling at night and charter boat fishing, should not be up and running successfully.”

In Angling Trust’s appeal entitled Fishing out of Lockdown, they state:

“We need to move as quickly as possible to opening up safe outdoor recreation along the lines of last summer in order to deliver health, well-being, social and economic benefits. Our preference is for a national system but should the Government decide to retain a tiered system of restrictions the Angling Trust has appropriate guidelines in place to drive compliance.”


This was submitted to both the Department of Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the Cabinet Office and the full document of Fishing out of Lockdown is available to download on the Angling Trust Website.

Angling Trust, go on to list the key benefits claimed for angling during the pandemic:

  • Being a largely solitary sport where social distancing occurs naturally
  • Proven benefits for mental health and physical well-being
  • Angling appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds and engages able-bodied and disabled participants alike
  • Evidence that non-contact outdoor activities will not increase infection rates
  • A reduction in pressure on other public open spaces.

Angling Trust Head of Policy, Martin Salter said:

“We are hopeful that by setting out the case for angling in a measured and responsible manner which emphasises the multiple benefits in terms of individual health and mental wellbeing during these difficult times, Ministers will once again see us as part of the solution rather than the problem.”


The paper, Fishing out of Lockdown, also mentions the economic benefits of allowing the angling community some looser restrictions, stating that:

“The decision by Ministers not to place unnecessary restrictions on angling has undoubtedly protected the £4bn a year angling trade which supports up to 40,000 jobs in the UK. In fact, since May last year there has been a near 20% increase in rod licence sales, significant rises in angling club membership and a corresponding boost in sales of fishing tackle, outdoor clothing and ancillary products. This has been welcome news indeed at a time when many other businesses are facing financial ruin.”


The Angling Trust submission is supported by high profile angling experts such as the England match angler Steve Ringer:

“Angling has proven to be a real lifeline to people throughout this pandemic, so when restrictions start to lift I really see no reason why fishing shouldn’t be included and even encouraged.”


The Korda carp specialist and broadcaster Ali Hamidi also supports this appeal by commenting:

“Along with the low-risk factor of fishing, the benefits for the many include not only physical health improvements but more importantly vitality for mental health.”

The latest paper from Angling Trust concludes with:

“Recreational fishing has provided a valuable lifeline for many thousands of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds throughout this pandemic. It has been conducted safely and responsibly with strong guidelines in place covering every aspect of our sport. There are multiple benefits to be had in permitting a full return as soon as any restrictions can be lifted.”


Anglers are invited to register their support for the full resumption of fishing as set out in the Angling Trust submission. Register your support here.

You can read the full story and updates on the Fishing during the pandemic over on the Angling Trust blog.

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