Recreational Angling:

Recreational sea angling is one of the country's most popular sports, with up to 2 million people going sea angling every year. Sea anglers are known to contribute substantially to local economies, and support many businesses. England’s sea anglers help boost the economy by spending more than £800 million on the sport. These might include fishing tackle retailers and manufacturers, bait suppliers, boat sales and suppliers, charter boats, specialist magazines, and local tourism and accommodation. Anglers reported that the health and well-being benefits were important factors for taking part in the sport, saying it provided relaxation, physical exercise and opportunities for socialising.

The Southern IFCA District is a nationally significant area for recreational sea angling; this is a function of a number of factors:
  • the proximity to a large human population,
  • the diversity of features and habitats known as ‘marks’,
  • the diverse assemblage of fish species,
  • good boat access provided by sheltered moorings in areas around the Solent and Poole Harbour
The offshore angling experience is facilitated by a flotilla of small privately owned craft, numerous angling club boats and a good number of professional charter angling boats.

Onshore recreational angling occurs all along the Southern IFCA coastline; piers, marinas, cliffs and harbour walls are particularly important for anglers throughout the year. The open beaches and the many closed bays and estuaries are also significant areas for recreational sea anglers.

Please use our Other Regulations page to find information on bass nursery areas and bait digging within the District.


Southern IFCA Sea Angling Strategy

Southern IFCA has been developing its Angling Strategy since 2014. A key part of this has been the development of the Recreational Angling Sector Group. The group is attended by members of the angling and charter community and aims to promote more effective communication between the recreational sea angling sector in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Dorset and Southern IFCA. The group will also assist in further developing Southern IFCAs angling strategy.

The Terms of Reference for the group can be found here.

Minutes of the previous meetings:
23 April 2015                                      
26 October 2016
29 July 2015                                         25 January 2017
28 October 2015                                 
26 April 2017
27 January 2016                                  02 August 2017
27 April 2016                                        01 November 2017
27 July 2016                                        05 February 2018
02 May 2018                                        27 June 2018
26 September 2018                            16 January 2019
27 March 2019



Sea Angling 2012

Sea Angling 2012 was a government-sponsored project to provide data on recreational sea angling that can help improve the scientific understanding of fish stocks off our coast, as well as ensuring that the needs of sea angling can be represented as effectively as possible in future marine policy development.

The project was carried out by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and individual Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs), in collaboration with the social research co-operative Substance.

The results from the project demonstrate the importance of sea angling, more details may be found here:


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