THE Angling Trusts wants your help to get more sides of angling booming again.

As we revealed, an angling decline is apparent as rod licence sales are down 39.4 per cent since 2011.

The latest two confirmed figures saw a 14.7 per cent decline for the 2017-18 season and 14 per cent down in August compared to the same month last year.

Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd explained that the angling decline is being tackled, and views are being pulled together.

Mark said: “We are seeking the views of anglers, clubs, fisheries and the wider trade on the future National Angling Strategy that is being drawn up by the Environment Agency.

“There is a lot of experience to draw on from clubs, fisheries and the trade, as well as hundreds of thousands of anglers who can give their insight as well.

Our regional forums are running over October and November and we will have sessions on the future strategy.

“These are forums paid for by licence money, we encourage as many people as possible to attend. Find out more on our website.

“And we will be holding a Future Angling conference on Saturday, November 17, at Barston Lakes in the West Midlands after our AGM for anyone (whether a member or not) to contribute to the development of this strategy.

“Like many sports angling is facing a major strategic challenge. In our case it’s is a combination of an aging angling population, declining wild freshwater and marine fish stocks, lack of enforcement, changing leisure habits, economic pressures and the government restrictions on Environment Agency marketing.

“The UK is not alone. In Finland, participation is down 30 per cent, Norway 15 per cent, Denmark 32 per cent, the USA state California 56 per cent whilst there has been a 60 per cent increase in population.

“Other sports have seen declines in participation – from 2007/08 to 2015/16 football saw a drop of over 500,000 participants, equating to an 18 per cent decline.

“Golf has seen a 27 per cent decline, swimming 24 per cent, tennis 27 per cent, squash 33 per cent,” Mark concluded.

Chris Yates is concerned by the apparent angling decline.

Chris Yates is concerned by the apparent angling decline.

Angling decline views of Chris Yates

Angling legend and former carp record holder Chris Yates said: “Sadly we don’t see so many youngsters fishing these days.

“Some go with their dads which is great but it is rarer to see groups of young kids like there used to be.

“There are too many impediments put in the way of kids now – even local ponds have membership and it seems silly to expect anyone under 16 to have to have the bother of getting a licence to go fishing even if it is free.

“I saw my first carp in the village pond when I was five and it seemed almost like a dragon to me, and hooked me on the world under water.

“More needs to be done to encourage young people and there aren’t enough women or people from ethnic groups involved in the sport – this must be an area which can be improved,” Chris added.

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