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Angling set to be boosted by exciting new initiative

U LSTER attracts anglers from far and wide and a new initiative aims to promote the sport to an even greater extent.

A Strategic Review of Angling intends to develop a united approach so that more people have the opportunity to go fishing and enjoy the benefits it brings.

Sport NI and the NI Tourist Board have joined with the Loughs Agency and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure to work with the Ulster Angling Federation, Irish Federation of Sea Anglers, Ulster Provincial Council and the Ulster Coarse Fishing Federation in a bid to further develop the sport.

Northern Ireland is famous for the quality of its angling and there are great opportunities for excellent fishing in the province.

However while other sports and activities have been developed and promoted, angling hasn't enjoyed the recognition and prominence that it perhaps deserves.

The partners in the project are especially focused on encouraging more young people and less active groups to take up the sport, while the tourist board wants to see the province recognised as a top destination for visitors to come and fish.

Angling is an ideal way for young people to learn about conservation and protection of the environment.

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The expertise and opinions of clubs and fishery owners, and the insights of other water users and interested parties, will be vital contributions to understanding the best way forward.

G&L Hughes Ltd, a consultancy firm that specialises in strategic planning for outdoor sport and recreation, has been appointed to advise how angling might best be developed.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us to help foster the interest in angling and enable the province to enhance its reputation for the quality of its fishing and the warmth of its welcome to visitors," said Geoff Hughes, G&L Hughes Ltd director.

As their work proceeds, the consultants will seek the views of clubs, landowners, angling businesses, individual anglers and government departments and agencies.

The angling federations are encouraging members to submit their views on issues and it is also hoped that fishery owners and other interested parties will make their views known.

A series of meetings will be held next month to discuss the comments received.

Clubs and organisations are invited to submit their views at www.surveymonkey.com/s/ANGLING_USERS_SURVEY.

Comments may be emailed to anglingreview@sportni.net or posted to Angling Review, House of Sport, BT9 5LA.


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