To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(1) what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of recreational sea angling to the North Devon economy;
(2) how many people resident in North Devon are employed in the North Devon recreational sea angling sector;
(3) how many recreational sea anglers are estimated to visit North Devon each year;
(4) what recent assessment he has made of the effect that Article 47 of the EU Proposal for the Monitoring of Recreational Fisheries would have on recreational sea angling.
A DEFRA-funded study carried out by Drew Associates into the economic impact of the recreational sea angling sector in England and Wales was published in 2004. This study estimated that 18,889 people were employed in the sector and that the total expenditure of anglers was £538 million per year. Although we do not have detailed data on angling activity in North Devon, the same report considered the principal locations for angling in that area and identified that there were 15 charter angling vessels in the North Devon and Bristol Channel area.
In England there are around 400 charter angling vessels that would require an authorisation under Article 47 of the draft EU proposal, plus an as yet unquantified number of privately owned vessels. As part of the process of negotiating this proposal, we shall be seeking clarification from the Commission on a number of issues relating to Article 47. Until we have that clarification it is difficult to assess accurately its potential impact on recreational sea angling. We shall be seeking stakeholders' views on these points and considering them in more detail in the impact assessment that my officials are drawing up and which we shall publish as part of the formal consultation procedure.