THE ANGLING Trust has written to the Prime Minister attacking “a biased and flawed” report which effectively calls for a ban on recreational fishing.
In a report on fish welfare, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation – a group backed by Carrie Symonds, the Prime Minister’s partner – states:
“Catch and release activities are stressful for the fish and even when released back into the wild survival rates can be dramatically low. Some researchers suggest a survival rate of only 1-2 per cent for released fish.”
The Angling Trust says such claims have been “dismantled” by leading fisheries scientists. CEO Jamie Cook said:
“It’s disappointing the authors of this report have chosen to cherry-pick examples that fit their predetermined anti-fishing ideology, rather than following facts and science.
“Survival rates following catch and release are nothing like the figure quoted. Studies demonstrate average survival rates of well over 90 per cent in most cases with a mean average of 95 per cent. These are even higher in the case of coarse fishing in the UK.”
The report also calls for fish to be added to the Animal Welfare Act 2006, which could theoretically end angling and even keeping pet koi.