The Angling Trust warmly welcomes the publication by the Environment Agency of new reports explaining how freshwater anglers’ rod licences are spent regionally and nationally. These reports are the product of a series of meetings, initiated by the Angling Trust in 2009, to encourage greater transparency and accountability by the Environment Agency about how it delivers its management of freshwater fisheries and angling. We congratulate the staff of the Agency responsible for preparation of these clear and helpful reports and to the many excellent fisheries staff who have helped deliver the outcomes at a local level.
We will continue to work at a national and regional level to ensure that the priorities of anglers and fishery owners are reflected in the work carried out by the Agency and that further steps are taken to increase the information available about how funds have been spent. At a time of budget cuts in all public bodies, we need to ensure that fisheries funding is not diverted to other parts of the Agency and that fishery staff time spent on supporting other parts of the EA is properly recharged.
It is notable that the Government’s contribution to rod licence expenditure has declined in relative and real terms consistently over the last decade. The Trust will continue to campaign to protect, and in future increase, this Grant in Aid to reflect the widespread benefits of angling and healthy fisheries to society in general, and not just to anglers who pick up much of the cost of this work.
The Trust will also be working closely with the Environment Agency’s fisheries sector to identify ways in which greater value for money can be achieved from the limited resources available, so that more can be done to achieve the Agency’s statutory duty to maintain, improve and develop fisheries, including angling.
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said: "The Angling Trust, on behalf of all anglers, asked the Agency for these reports and we think that this new, detailed information will help anglers understand about how their money is spent. We congratulate the reports' authors on producing such clear and detailed information. Buying a rod licence is not just important to comply with the law, it's important for the future of our fisheries."
The documents are available for download from the Angling Trust website by CLICKING HERE.