BACKGROUND

In what is believed to be a global first, fish21 is conducting three surveys on recreational fishing baits and sustainability, each aimed at a different audience: anglers, producers (manufacturers + harvesters + farmers + cultivators) and freshwater fishery managers. 

The current bait situation
It is increasingly recognised that businesses have an important role to play in delivering more environmentally-friendly production and consumption, otherwise society will not be able to contain climate change; resources will become increasingly scarce; and ecosystems further damaged. For all manufacture this means making products which minimise negative environmental impacts during both production and use.

Maintaining sustainable target fish populations remains the number one priority for the angling sector. This requires for example, good water quality and healthy aquatic habitats. So, the first thing to think about are the baits themselves. For example, is the bait fully digestible by fish and other aquatic life, or does it create undigested remains which could potentially negatively affect water quality and fish health? On the other hand, baits could go beyond simply attracting fish and better supplement their natural diet, contributing to healthy weight gains which increase a fishery’s asset value, as well as benefitting broader aquatic life. 

And another question to ask is whether or not the baits and ingredients themselves are responsibly sourced (e.g. whether seafood is supplied from a certified sustainable fishery). It is also important to consider if the sourcing, production, packaging and distribution processes can be redesigned to minimise environmental impacts (e.g. using readily recyclable packaging materials).

Many of these issues haven’t generally been considered, publicly at least, by recreational fishing bait producers. These surveys are just intended to inform the current position with regard to baits and their use, and hopefully provide a useful starting point for further discussion. Whilst ground baits are included in the surveys’ scope, hard / soft plastic lures are excluded. All comments will be treated in the strictest confidence. The surveys are open for completion until 25th September 2018. An executive report including the main findings will be published this Autumn. Please share this information across your social networks. Thank you.

Question Title

* 1. Contact information (will not be disclosed to third parties under any circumstances)

Question Title

* 2. What main type of freshwater fishery do you own / manage?

Question Title

* 3. What type of baits do visiting anglers mainly use?

Question Title

* 4. In your opinion should baits used in your fishery help to balance a fish’s natural diet and benefit the fishery's wider aquatic-life?

Question Title

* 5. Do you place any restrictions (e.g. in fishery rules) on which types of baits are permitted to be used?

Question Title

* 6. Legislation and industry codes of practice apply for example to animal feed production. In your opinion, is it appropriate that the bait industry is also subjected to certain controls. For example, so that their products help balance a fish’s natural diet and also benefit the fishery’s wider aquatic-life?

Question Title

* 7. If you have an on-site shop, are you more likely to stock baits from a producer who publicly discloses environmental and responsible sourcing policies?

Question Title

* 8. In your opinion should producers publicly disclose (e.g. on labelling) product ingredients?

Question Title

* 9. In your opinion should producers use responsibly sourced ingredients (e.g. sustainable seafood from a Marine Stewardship Council approved fishery)?

Question Title

* 10. In your opinion what information should peoducers include on labelling and packaging relating to the responsible use of their products? Please comment for each:

T