Sea fishing licence scuppered

Fisheries Minister, Jonathan Shaw says he won't proceed with sea angling licence.

A wave of commonsense swept through the Government as it announced that the proposed sea angling licence would not go ahead.

The decision follows a series of crunch meetings with top angling organisations, plus Defra fact-finding missions held around the country, where officials found out that grassroots recreational anglers wouldn't stand for a licence to sea fish.

Ordinary anglers made it quite clear that they would kick against the Government and the licencing authority when it came to paying for a licence to fish seas that weren't properly managed through the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP).

Anglers pointed the finger at the Government, saying it had made a hash of the bass size limits, felt that a sea licence would give them no benefits at all, thought that the licence scheme would be hard to police, and in a nutshell thought the licence was just another stealth tax.

If Government Ministers and Defra officials read Sea Angler - and we know they do - they would have known that feelings have been running high for many months over the licence issue.

Sea Angler's pages have been chocked for months as readers vented their anger over the licence proposals with around 99 per cent of them giving the idea the big heave-ho!

Editor Mel Russ said: "In the 24 years I have been editing the magazine I have never known such a wave of solidarity in condemning an issue. Readers were incensed that the Government could ride rough shod over them and charge everyone for a licence that would give the holder nothing.

"The nation's sea anglers clearly saw the licence as a tax for which they would get nothing in return. Anglers are already taxed heavily for their sport, whether it's fuel, tackle, services and they were united in fighting the licence. It is clear victory for our sport."