One of the questions anglers ask the Environment Agency (EA) most often is “how do you spend our fishing licence money?” There is no short answer to that question, as every year we strive to make a real difference for our fisheries and anglers through an array of activities.
In our newly-published Annual Fisheries Report for 2018 to 2019, we outline the extent of work undertaken thanks to this important source of funding.
During the financial year 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019, we sold 955,310 fishing licences. This generated an income of £21,347,795. We also received £1,100,000 grant-in-aid from central government.
In fact, we spend far more than we receive, by being able to attract funding from other parts of the Environment Agency, government and our external partners. For every £1 of fishing licence money we invested in projects, we secured an additional £28.67 worth of additional investment to improve fisheries and develop fishing opportunities.
The Report gives details on all the work we do, including vital work with our brilliant network of approximately 1,700 partners. These include organisations involved in angling such as the Angling Trust, Canal and Rivers Trust, as well as a large number of local angling clubs, fishery owners, local councils and charities. With the support of our partners, we are able to deliver far more, ensuring that every pound from the licence fee income is used to its full potential.
The work we do includes an array of diverse actions, ranging from fisheries enforcement, habitat improvements and fish stocking, to fish stock surveys, responding to incidents and regulating fish movements to help prevent disease. These are just a few of many more examples. We also work with the Angling Trust and others to help encourage more people to take up fishing (last year, through the taster sessions, more than 37,000 people tried angling for the first time) and we carry out research to ensure we continue to use the most up to date and effective techniques to protect fisheries.
We also work with a range of volunteers including the Angling Trusts Voluntary Bailiff Service, who provide eyes and ears on the banks to ensure people are complying with the law. This is a vital piece of work that ensures anglers fish legally and can enjoy the sport, while preserving and protecting fish stocks. They also provide a huge number of volunteer angling coaches, who give people the chance to try our wonderful sport.
When you are buying a licence, please remember all the good work that you are helping to support. Licence fee funds projects that ensure our fisheries are sustainable and healthy, and that anglers can enjoy the sport for decades to come.
To keep up to date with the work we do, please remember to opt in to receiving communications from us when you buy a licence.
Annual fishing licences are available from only £30. To enjoy fishing and make sure you fish legally - go to www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence.