According to the long awaited Government sponsored study into the value of Scottish sea angling which was undertaken by Glasgow Caledonian University and released on the 29th July 2009.
Contributing over £140 million a year to the Scottish economy, sea angling’s contribution is greater than that of salmon, trout and coarse angling combined, and at least as valuable as incoming golf tourism.
The report was released at a meeting in the Clashwhannan in Drummore, Dumfries and Galloway where Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, met with representatives of the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN), local politicians and business leaders.
It was very apt that the launch took part in ‘The Clash’ as that was the base for our research into the benefits of sea angling to coastal communities and the video we created in support of it, both of which which became the foundation for the Lifelines Event we held in Holyrood and John Scott’s Members Motion and its subsequent debate.
In many ways though, the highlight of the day was when Mr Lochhead went off on a short fishing trip on board one of Ian Burrett’s boats – for a start he really enjoyed it, then perhaps surprised himself by catching some pollock, but was then even more surprised when Ian told him that they had to go back, as his boats only fish catch and return – now that’s what we call sustainable fishing !
Following the meeting, Mr Lochhead said: “This ground breaking report shows that the popular sport of sea angling lands thousands of jobs and millions of pounds for Scotland,"
"The potential for further development is huge and the next step must be to set up a group to take forward a development strategy.”
SSACN understands the group is expected to comprise sea angling representative bodies, local authorities, tourist agencies, marine scientists and other representative bodies and be tasked with delivering a strategic plan before the next Holyrood election.
Our Vice Chairman, Ian Burrett, pointed out to all present that the cost of implementing such a plan will be minimal compared with the rewards and that the cost of inaction will be a worsening ecological disaster, a multi-million pound missed opportunity and more pressure on the economies of many coastal communities.
As recently as the late 1980’s, Scotland was a major European destination for sea anglers, however, due to poor fisheries management over the last two decades, the stocks of many of those have been almost totally depleted which apart from the tragic loss of biodiversity in our seas, has caused hundreds of jobs and millions of pounds to be lost from the fragile economies of many coastal communities.
The report recognises sea angling is a selective, environmentally friendly and low-impact healthy outdoor activity which can help promote physical and mental well being and one which many families undertake as a shared activity.
John Scott MSP (Cons), Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & the Environment, who was also at the meeting said later "After two years of silence, it is crucial the Scottish Government comes up with a significant and well thought through plan to ensure the potential of the sea angling industry in Scotland is not lost."
Wolf Richthofen, of Stranraer and District Chamber of Commerce said they would be working with other chambers in coastal areas to put pressure on the Government to deliver its strategy and ensure that the potential identified in the report was fully realised.
SSACN would like to thank all those who actively supported the Study, provided input to the survey, spoke with Alan Radford and so on. Sea anglers can make a difference and if you want to get on board and help out, the more the merrier.
Scottish anglers have spent over £3 billion in the last 20 years on their sport, it is about time they received something in return !
Ian Burrett (SSACN) and Cabinet Secretary Lochhead discussing the findings.
Some of the attendees
Category: SSACN Announcements