Just thought I'd give this thread a 'bump' for Christmas...
I must admit I've only read about the first three pages but most of the relevant comments seem to have been made.
I for one don't believe that an affordable licence would provide improved sea fishing, it would cost far too much to implement and police.
Holiday anglers after a bit of mackerel bashing round the harbour? I doubt if having to purchase a licence beforehand for Joe Bloggs, his three kids and one of their mates would be very popular (or affordable). On another note would it see fewer fish chucked in the litter bins?
Going out on a charter boat would be a no-no without one. I'm sure the skippers wouldn't want to be charged as "accessories" because some bloke on his first trip hadn't shelled out in case he didn't like it/was sea-sick.
Running the risk of shore fishing without a licence would largely be down to the area you fish I suppose, visible pier or middle of nowhere?
Would I buy one?
Well as a born-again (charter) boat angler I suppose I'd have to. I can't see the possibility of officialdom letting charter skippers take out anglers with the possibility of some anglers not having a licence without some kind of punishment. Instant 'cheap' policing!
Would it help anglers?
Well that would depend on the cost of the licence and how much money was ploughed back into the fish. How would they improve (or police) wreck fishing 50 miles out? Realistically I can't see how it could work. After all it seems that they can't police the freshwater licence without penalising the angler.
I don't object to the general notion of a licence IF
it provided benefits to those paying for the licence and
gave them precedence over any sea-users who didn't pay for a licence for their hobby/sport/living.
See, I told you it wouldn't work
Eating wild caught fish is good for my health, reduces food miles and keeps me fit trying to catch them........it's my choice to do it, not yours to stop me!