FIPO spearheads Italian sea fishing licence climbdown
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Anglers across Italy are celebrating this month after a campaign spearheaded by the tackle trade has seen off a bid to introduce a nationwide sea fishing licence.
Attempts to make the country’s sea fishermen pay for their sport has been going on for years, but it has finally been abandoned following aggressive lobbying from the Italian fishing trade body, FIPO.
If the proposal had gone through, anglers fishing from a boat would have had to pay €200 a year and from the shore €20 – a move that could have had a devastating effect on an industry that has been suffering from the Eurozone economic crisis.
“The withdrawal of the proposal is testimony to the work done by FIPO which put political pressure on senators to back down on this punitive measure on one million anglers,” said FIPO President Ciro Esposito.
“Special thanks must go to retailers and anglers from all the regions who worked hard collecting protests that were delivered via FIPO to Parliament. The introduction of a licence to fish could have put tackle shops at risk during a period that has been sorely affected by the economic crisis.”
Despite the hard-fought victory, Esposito said it was not a time for triumphalism or complacency. “FIPO will continue to protect the interests of Italian fishermen and the industry, including future attempts to revive the sea fishing licence.
“This whole affair shows how Parliament underestimated the social and economic importance of sport fishing. It looked at the sector as simply a new way to hit us with a tax.
“We must continue to work with all bodies that represent recreational fishing, channeling our forces towards the common goal of protecting and promoting our sport – and making it clear to Parliament and the general public the importance of the industry.”