A controversial petition has been put forward to Parliament calling for a law to ban treble hooks for all forms of angling and restrict fishermen to single hooks only.

The hooks petition originator is Dr Stuart McLanaghan, a sustainability business professional, and a lifelong angler who is motivated by fish welfare.

The petition states: ‘For future generations, the welfare and conservation of all native fish species will benefit from a phased UK ban on multiple point hooks for all leisure (sea, coarse and game) angling. This petition proposes to change government policy, restricting anglers to using one single fishing hook per rod.’

www.singlehooks.org is the work of Dr McLanaghan, from Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk. He has a PhD in environmental management, and is a director at Eden21 and a BBC Food Hero.

Dr McLanaghan claims that removal of treble hooks is more time consuming, increases fish stress and the likelihood of harm and there are no grounds for defending multiple point hooks.

However, the Pike Anglers Club have come out strongly against the proposal and the thinking behind it, claiming that single hooks can in fact be more damaging to pike.

PAC press officer Alan Dudhill explained: “Nearly all top pike anglers use trebles. We obviously endeavour to ensure that pike are hooked in the mouth and the PAC teach anglers how to unhook them cleanly and efficiently.

“But even with the most delicate bite indication pike do unfortunately swallow the bait on occasion, but we believe a single hook is more likely to cause damage than a treble which spreads the pressure on the fish rather than focus it on one point.”

To receive a response from the Government a parliamentary petition needs 10,000 signatures, and 100,000 would mean it would be debated in parliament.