The Angling Trust has released a dossier detailing its greatest achievements in a bid to boost membership numbers.
Millions of people take part in fishing each year but despite the huge participation figures, less than 20,000 have signed up to support the sport’s governing body.
Various campaigns have been run to recruit new followers but a lack of understanding about the work being conducted by the Trust has led to slow growth.
Officials have now moved to remove the confusion by putting together an in-depth public document that lists over 20 major victories the organisation has been responsible for since its formation in January 2009.
As well as creating a united organisation as the single voice for all angling, the Trust has played a key role in numerous issues, including a successful battle to gain fisheries better protection from cormorants, winning over £1m of government funding each year, training 1,6000 qualified coaches and introducing 125,000 people to the sport.
Chief Executive Mark Lloyd is keen to build on the achievements reached to date and believes a bigger membership base is vital to a stronger future for angling. He said: “The Angling Trust is the largest and most unified representative body we have ever had in this country, and it really is making a difference.
“Now we really need far more individual anglers to get behind us to help protect and improve fish stocks, support the unique work that Fish Legal does by taking polluters to court and our many programmes promoting fishing to people of all ages.
“Bigger support will also give us more influence at government level. The RSPB has a million members and we have less than 20,000 but we punch well above our weight.
“I believe that the Angling Trust and Fish Legal have been a hugely positive force for our sport in the past five years but we do need more people on-board to keep our progress heading in the right direction” he added.
High profile figures within the sport were sceptical as to whether the Trust could meet its goals when it was first created, with Des Taylor amongt the doubters.
Five years on and his opinion has been transformed, with the Angling Times columnist and governing body ambassador backing the campaign to attract more support.
“Before the Angling Trust came together I’d heard a lot of talk that never ended in positive actions and I didn’t believe what they said they wanted to do could be achieved,” explained Des.
“But I have been proved wrong. We need people who can represent us at a political level on issues such as poaching and predation and that is exactly what the Trust are doing.
“Nobody dares challenge the RSPB because of how powerful they are and I believe that within the next 10 to 20 years the Angling Trust can achieve the same status if anglers sign up and buy into what they are trying to achieve.”
To read the whole list of achievements visit www.anglingtrust.net
- Fought polluters in 50 separate legal cases and provided free legal advice to 220 Fish Legal member clubs and fisheries in the last twelve months.
- Reduced poaching by educating thousands of Eastern European anglers about how to fish legally.
- Won a review by government of the bass minimum landing size to protect vulnerable juveniles.
- Delivered over 200 major competitions and supported England teams to over 100 medals in major world events.
- Fought against the sell-off of the CEMEX fisheries to non-angling interests.
- Recruited the first 100 members of our Voluntary Bailiff Service in the South East, which is now being rolled out to more regions.
Join the Angling Trust
Individual membership to the Angling Trust £25 a year for adults and free for juniors. Benefits include 10 per cent off day tickets a series of fisheries, free civil liability insurance and generous discounts on a whole range of products and services. To join visit www.anglingtrust.net or call 0844 7700616.