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Sea Fishing: Licensing

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) whether he plans to introduce a recreational sea angling licence; what estimate he has made of the revenue that a recreational sea angling licence would raise; and if he will make a statement; (177660)

(2) pursuant to the Marine Bill White Paper and associated Regulatory Impact Assessment, what estimate he has made of the cost of administering and enforcing a recreational sea angling licence; and if he will make a statement;

(3) pursuant to the Marine Bill White Paper and associated Regulatory Impact Assessment, to what use the revenue raised from a recreational sea angling licence would be put; and if he will make a statement.

The Marine Bill White Paper published in March 2007 includes proposals to introduce a chargeable licensing scheme for recreational sea angling. The RIA accompanying the White Paper estimated that the revenue from such a scheme could generate £9 million to £12 million per annum in licence fees, depending on uptake and the rate of the charge. The RIA also estimated the one-off set-up cost to the Government could be between £0.1 million to £1.5 million, with annual running costs including enforcement between £1.2 million and £2.8 million, depending on how the scheme is implemented and the level of compliance.

The White Paper explained that the revenue raised from a recreational sea angling licence would be used to help support measures such as:

(i) improved scientific data to inform the development of management measures for stocks of specific interest to anglers;

(ii) protection and improvement of shore access and parking;

(iii) provision of more small boat launching facilities;

(iv) access to existing and new shore structures;

(v) creation of artificial inshore and offshore reefs; and

(vi) clear displays of relevant rules, codes of conduct and other useful data on the shore, at boat launch sites and aboard charter boats

The revenue would also cover the costs of administration, monitoring and inspection and evaluation of any measures introduced for the benefit of anglers.