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 1st October 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. What type of angler are you mainly?

Question Title

* 2. What type of bait do you mainly use?

Question Title

* 3. How much bait (kilograms) including ground bait do you estimate that you buy each month?

Question Title

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

Question Title

* 5. Are you more likely to buy baits from a producer who operates clear environmental and/or responsible sourcing policies?

Question Title

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

Question Title

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

Question Title

* 8. Legislation and industry codes of practice apply for example to animal feed production. In your opinion should the bait industry also be subjected to similar controls. For example, to ensure their products help balance a fish’s natural diet and also benefit the fishery’s wider aquatic-life?

Question Title

* 9. Would you be prepared to pay more for baits from producers meeting environmental and responsible sourcing criteria?

Question Title

* 10. In percentage terms, how much more would you be willing to pay for baits which are produced to meet environmental and responsible sourcing criteria?

T