The Angling Trust has given a warm welcome to the announcement today (May 10th) by Prime Minster Boris Johnson that recreational fishing looks set to resume in England on Wednesday, May 13th.
The Prime Minister announced the resumption of ‘unlimited outdoor sports’ from Wednesday providing they are conducted alone or with members of the same household and that social distancing rules are followed at all times.
A government source confirmed that “outdoor exercise includes angling, golf, water sports and tennis providing social distanced from Wednesday.”
The decision to include outdoor activities such as angling in the first wave of newly permitted activities followed weeks of intense advocacy and lobbying by the Angling Trust which unified the angling community like never before and saw over 8,000 individual emails sent to MPs and dozens of articles in the regional and national press in support of a safe return for angling.
The Prime Minister is making a full statement to the House of Commons tomorrow and the Angling Trust will be seeking clarification about the reopening of tackle shops and confirmation of any restrictions on how angling should be practised during the next phase.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP tweeted:
“In the least risky outdoor environments we can imminently allow sports like golf, basketball, tennis and fishing.”
Last month, a report from the Angling Trust entitled ‘When We Fish Again’ was submitted to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and the Fisheries and Sports Ministers arguing for recreational fishing to be designated as one of the first permitted outdoor sports when ministers begin to relax the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. It was backed by national angling and fisheries groups including the Canal & River Trust, Salmon & Trout Conservation, the Institute of Fisheries Management and representatives of the angling trade which is estimated to be worth a total of £4bn to the UK economy.
The report recommended a phased resumption in line with the government’s own criteria and identified a number of good reasons why angling should be an early candidate for consideration including: