Shooting industry booming, fishing in difficulty

Shooting is an industry "experiencing growth in all levels", according to a newly-published survey. UK fishing, on the other hand, has seen a decline in popularity recently, with many being tempted to fish overseas.

BRIXHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 02:  Fishing boats moored in Brixham harbour  on March 2, 2016 in Devon, England. The UK's fishing industry is likely to be radically affected by the outcome of the EU referendum that the UK electorate will vote on June 23. Currently under the EU's Common Fisheries Policies (CFP), quotas are imposed on UK fishermen and it also grants equal access to other European fishing fleets to the UK 200-mile exclusive economic zone around the UK coastline whilst preserving a 12-mile zone for exclusive UK boats. However if the UK votes to leave the UK would regain full control over its 200-mile fishing zone, although bilateral agreement with other fishing nations could require granting access on a quid pro quo basis and there is uncertainty about the potential loss of export markets.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A new survey suggests the shooting industry is in “exceptional health”.

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The 2015 Game Shooting & Fishing Census, put together by property consultancy Strutt & Parker and shoot finder GunsOnPegs, says the industry is experiencing growth in all levels.

The survey, which had more than 3,000 respondents, showed that the number of shoots visited per gun each season remains on the rise, going from five to six.

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of those who took part in the study indicated they are prepared to travel more than 100 miles when paying for a shoot. The hotel stays which are often a result of this contribute to the UK’s tourism economy – the average gun has just under three nights in paid for accommodation per season.

James Horne, Chairman of GunsOnPegs and RodsOnRivers, said: “It was encouraging to discover that the average spend per head, per year on shooting alone was a substantial £5,533 – with 38% of respondents stating that they planned to spend even more this coming season. The census also firmly established that the most important feature of a shoot day for 63% of respondents was ‘having fun with friends’. This sends a clear message about the continued and growing popularity of the sport.”

The fishing industry, however, appears to be struggling by comparison. Scotland, the most popular fishing destination in the UK, has experienced an 8.3% decline, and only the North East showed a significant increase in anglers this year, of 16.15%.

Horne suggested “the pull from abroad” is in part behind this, with “value for money luring fishermen abroad”.

Above all, Salmon fishing is in difficulty, with dwindling numbers of the fish being caught.

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“The long term trend will be a continual decline if we don’t start to do something about protecting our Atlantic salmon”, Horne added.