A new national project to bring 50,000 young Scots into angling over the next decade is launched today.
The Scottish National Angling Programme (SNAP) was launched by Paul Young, one of Scotland's favourite actors and the presenter of some the UK's most popular angling TV shows, at the Kingennie Fishery, near Broughty Ferry in Angus.
According to sportscotland, the number of young anglers is stagnating at around 30,000, or just 6% of under 16 year-olds. SNAP has been launched to help re-establish angling as one of Scotland's most popular participation sports and play a part in the fight against anti-social behaviour.
SNAP has been initiated by the Scottish Countryside Alliance Educational Trust (SCAET) and is supported by all of the leading angling organisations in Scotland.
Tony Andrews, founder of SNAP and Chairman of SCAET, said: "Angling is such an important part of Scottish life. It is a lifelong passion for thousands of Scots and it generates more than Â£100 million a year for the national economy. SNAP will bring young people into angling, give them a hobby which will introduce them to the wonders of the Scottish countryside and help us secure the future of this most wonderful of pastimes."
SNAP manager Ian Robertson added: "Everyone is concerned about anti-social behaviour and children with nothing to do. Angling offers young people a superb hobby with the chance to learn new skills and to spend time in the countryside. SNAP will not only rejuvenate Scottish angling but will help to improve our communities."
Paul Young said: "Angling has brought me such happiness and adventure over the years. It has also taught me to respect and cherish our natural environment. SNAP is an outstanding project which promises to enrich the lives of thousands of young Scots."
Today also sees the launch of the Castaways, the new online angling club run for and by young Scots anglers, and one of the central SNAP projects.
The Castaways will give youngsters access to information about angling, new skills and techniques and cheap clothing and equipment.
For more details contact Neil Rafferty on 07733 301721 or Ian Robertson, SNAP programme manager on 07733 360621.
For more information about the SCAET go to: www.scaet.org.uk
For more information about the Castaways go to: www.thecastaways.org.uk