Press release

Recreational angling puts £1.4bn into English economy

Freshwater anglers contribute an estimated £1.4 billion annually to the English economy, supporting up to 27,000 full-time equivalent jobs, through their spending on the sport.

Freshwater anglers
Freshwater anglers

This is according to an Environment Agency study published today, the first time since 2005 that a major study of angling activity and expenditure has taken place. The Environment Agency study, A Survey of Freshwater Angling in England examined the spending patterns and behaviour of 10,000 surveyed fishing licence holders to build a picture of the market value of freshwater angling in England.

The study found that angling for coarse fish was the most popular activity for the nation’s anglers, accounting for 19 million days of fishing with carp the most sought after species with an estimated 7 million days fishing time. Game anglers spent 1.6 million days fishing for salmon and trout.

Other findings included:

  • Across all types of angling, almost 70% of all angling days were on lakes, ponds, reservoirs.
  • Most coarse angling trips took place between 5 and 25 miles from the angler’s home. Anglers travelled significantly further for game fishing, with most salmon anglers travelling at least 50 miles from home to fish.
  • Anglers each spent an average of over £400 on tackle and around £110 on club or syndicate fees
  • A clean and attractive environment with minimal disturbance was more highly valued by anglers than the size and abundance of fish.

Kevin Austin, Deputy Director for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment at the Environment Agency said:

This study highlights the money anglers put into their sport and its importance to some of England’s regional economies.

All income from fishing licence sales is used to fund our work to protect and improve fish stocks and fisheries. This includes improving habitats for fish, facilities for anglers and tackling illegal fishing. We also work with partners such as the Angling Trust, Get Hooked on Fishing, the Canal and River Trust and the Angling Trade Association to encourage people to give fishing a go.

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said:

These figures confirm that angling makes a huge contribution to the economy, alongside the many benefits it brings to the health and wellbeing of millions of people each year. The Angling Trust, working with the Environment Agency, are focused on protecting and growing angling not only as an important contributor to our economy, but also to our society as a whole. Over the last three years we have worked with the Environment Agency to reinvest millions of pounds of rod licence income in improving facilities for anglers, providing information about how and where to fish, together we have helped over 77,000 people try fishing for the first time.

The study assessed legal angling activity, preferences and expenditure patterns in 2015 and compared them with activity in 2005.

Published 18 October 2018