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Angling bodies issue plea to new UK fisheries minister

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Robert Goodwill, the new UK Fisheries Minister, has been urged to build on the progress of his predecessor.

Representative bodies for angling in the UK have urged the government’s new Fisheries Minister to build on the positive progress made by his predecessor in building recognition for recreational fishing.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, took office last month following the resignation of George Eustice, which was triggered by the prospect of a delay in leaving the European Union.

The Angling Trust, which represents game, coarse and sea anglers in England, expressed its disappointment in the resignation at a ‘critical point’ for fisheries management in the UK.

But the Trust has wasted no time in engaging with the new minister. “We are pleased that Robert Goodwill has already agreed to meet with a delegation from the Angling Trust to discuss proposals in the new Fisheries Bill for recreational sea angling to be formally recognised, for the first time ever, as a stakeholder in the public fishery and be eligible for some of the grants that have previously only gone to the commercial sector,” said Martin Salter, Policy Lead for the Angling Trust.

“As the MP for Scarborough – the town that once hosted the famous ‘Tunny Club’ – we are hopeful that Mr Goodwill will be sympathetic to our call for the establishment of a catch and release UK tuna fishery now that these magnificent fish have returned to our shores.”

John Loftus, recently appointed CEO of the Angling Trades Association (ATA), said: “We trust that Mr Goodwill will recognise the value of the angling market to the UK economy and the large number of jobs reliant upon a good fishing environment for anglers, which includes a fair allocation of catches by both commercial and sporting sectors.

“We shall always be available for discussion with the minister to avail him of the value that our sport brings to our country.”

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