Italian tackle trade calls on Government to lift fishing ban
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The organisation representing the tackle trade in Italy, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by Coronavirus, has urged the Government to reinstate fishing, give the go-ahead for tackle shops to reopen and allow the industry to get back to normal.
In a letter to ministers, The Federazione Italiana Operatori Pesca Sportive (FIOPS) President, Andrea Collini, and Director, Francesco Ruscelli, say that they believe it is now safe to lift the ban on angling and allow the sport to be carried out with necessary safety measures in place.
The letter states: “The Coronavirus emergency has deeply marked the very fabric of our social, economic and productive lives. We are slowly approaching an eagerly awaited stage two that will gradually restart the country, but it is important to take into account the very heart of the Italian economic framework is characterised in particular by the millions of small and medium-sized businesses.
“These include companies and stores that sell sports and recreational fishing items.”
The letter went on to emphasise the economic impact of the fishing tackle industry on the Italian economy, stating that in total it was worth around €2.8 billion.
“Phase two of the recovery should definitely include resumption of a series of sports and recreational activities that can be carried out which respects social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks.
“Fishing falls perfectly into this kind of activity because it can be carried out alone and can comply with a mandatory spacing between fishermen of about ten metres.
“Steps can also be taken to ensure that fishing tackle shops and manufacturing facilities are safe for everyone. Control of the number of people in the stores can be introduced so that anglers can safely buy bait and equipment.
“We believe that we cannot further penalise the recreational sector and – yes – the economic value its brings to the economy and millions of people.
“FIOPS, the representative body of a large number of Italian sports and recreational fishermen, manufacturers and vendors of fishing products, believes that the time is now right to restart the fishing industry. We remain at the disposal of the Government institutions for any technical support that may be useful in dealing with the current situation.”