Businesses, politicians and tourist bodies are being urged to join forces with Britain’s four million anglers to resist an attempt by Brussels bureaucrats to subject recreational sea anglers to onerous regulations.
Thousands of private craft from ocean yachts to kayaks would have to be registered with the government and the owners report all the fish they caught.
"This is over-regulation taken to the extreme said Dr. Stephen Marsh-Smith, chairman of the new Angling Trust.
"If anyone dangled a line over the side and landed a few mackerel for supper, they would also be caught in the Brussels reporting net.
"It will cause great difficulties for our recreational sea angling industry which is probably worth more to the UK economy than the country’s commercial trawler fleet and yet catches far fewer fish than are thrown back dead into the sea by commercial fishing."
Dr. Marsh-Smith said the Angling Trust is calling on everyone connected with recreational angling to ask the prime minister to resist the proposed changes by signing a petition on the No.10 website at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/rsa-eu-proposal/
All the 78 UK members of the European parliament are being briefed to raise their concerns in Brussels and to gain exemption for the sport of recreational sea angling.
An early day motion (EDM 528) urging MPs of all parties to support the campaign has been tabled in parliament by Bill Wiggin, MP for Leominster.
It says the proposals would place an unfair burden on recreational sea anglers and put at risk the £1 billion and more than 20,000 jobs recreational sea angling contributes to the economy; and notes that in 2008 the Government ruled out introducing a licence for sea anglers.
Mr. Wiggin has also tabled an EDM (527) calling on MPs to welcome the establishment of the Angling Trust.
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said: "we are calling on all anglers to write to their MP asking them to vote for angling and sign up to these EDMs."