What Does The Marine Environment Mean To You?

ImageWhy is sea fishing so totally brilliant? One reason I love it is the ‘watercraft’; understanding the underwater features and habitat that hold fish, understanding the impact the natural pattern of the tides have on fish and the sense of achievement when this knowledge comes together and your understanding of the natural environment means you hit the jackpot on a fishing session.

Other coast users would like to say the same thing about their activities but there’s no way your average dog walker or kite surfer appreciates that the shallow gulley in the sand at the low tide mark acts as a gutter attracting fish foraging for shellfish or worms. Anglers develop a very close understanding of the marks they fish that make them important in a different way to many others who use the coast.

The Angling Trust has teamed up with the Marine Conservation Society, the British Sub Aqua Club and the University of Aberdeen with a survey that is looking at the non-monetary values that sea anglers place on the marine environment and what it is they value about the sites they visit and whether they believe they are worth protecting.

The results of the survey will help the Angling Trust understand the views of sea anglers as fully as possible before we respond to the public consultation on 31 recommended marine conservation zones around the English coast. It will also help us to understand what values recreational anglers and divers share.

The survey can be accessed at http://www.marinevalues.org/anglers .Please take a few minutes to answer the questions and complete the survey. Whilst the financial value of the marine environment can be assessed in terms of ‘ecosystem services’ there has been precious little research carried out into the values that individuals hold that cannot be described in terms of pounds and pence.

The survey closes on January 5th so make sure you have your say and contribute to this interesting piece of research before it’s too late.