The Impact of COVID-19 on Participation, Effort, Physical Activity, and Well-Being of Sea Anglers in the UK

Hook, Samantha A., Brown, Adam, Bell, Brigid, Kroese, Jo, Radford, Zachary and Hyder, Kieran ORCID: (2022) The Impact of COVID-19 on Participation, Effort, Physical Activity, and Well-Being of Sea Anglers in the UK. Frontiers in Marine Science, 9. ISSN 2296-7745

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Recreational sea angling is an important recreational activity in the United Kingdom with around 1.6% of adults participating and a total economic impact of around £1.5 billion each year. There are positive impacts of angling on physical health and mental well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in several national lockdowns in the UK, which along with additional local restrictions and personal circumstances due to the pandemic, have impacted people’s ability to fish. Angling was not allowed in the UK for some of the first lockdown (March to May 2020), and further restrictions were implemented subsequently that varied between the countries and regions. The impact of COVID-19 on the participation, effort, physical activity, and well-being of UK sea anglers remains unknown. A panel of UK sea anglers, which record their activity and catches as part of the Sea Angling Diary Project, were surveyed to assess changes in sea angling participation, physical activity, mental well-being, and expenditure between 2019 and 2020. We compared the sea angling effort and catches of the diary panel between 2019 and 2020. We found reduced sea angling effort in the panel, including sessions and catches, between 2019 and 2020, with the largest impact being in April 2020. We found that there was a significant reduction in expenditure during April 2020 with 64% of respondents spending less on sea angling than in a typical April. In total, 67% of respondents reported reduced happiness and 45% were less active due to sea angling restrictions. Using a general linear model, we found that even though anglers said that being able to go fishing has resulted in high World Health Organization Five Well-being Index scores, other factors also had significant effects. These included: age; physical and mental health status; angling activity; travel to fish during COVID-19; and whether they fished in July 2020. Of those who responded, 66% classified themselves as at either high or moderate risk to COVID-19. This work has shown that COVID-19 has negatively affected marine recreational fisheries in the UK, and not being able to go sea angling has negatively impacted participation, effort, physical activity and well-being.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: Thanks to all the sea anglers who have contributed to the Sea Angling Diary project, providing catch and participation data and to those on the panel who responded to the COVID-19 survey, without whom this survey would not have been possible. Thanks to the national angling organisations who have supported the project (the Scottish Federation of Sea Anglers, the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers, Sport NI, the Irish Federation of Sea Angling, Angling Trades Association), the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities (IFCAs) and individual IFCAs,, and hundreds of clubs, charter boats and tackle shops who have helped publicise the research. A special thanks to Fishing Megastore who have provided incentives and publicity for the Sea Angling Diary project. Funding Information: The research was funded by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England (MI001: Management of Recreational Marine Fisheries) and by the devolved governments of Scotland (RA001: DCF Recreational Sea Angling), Wales (WE001: Recreational Fishing), and Northern Ireland (RA001: DCF Recreational Sea Angling). Publisher Copyright: Copyright © 2022 Hook, Brown, Bell, Kroese, Radford and Hyder.
Uncontrolled Keywords: covid-19,effort,marine recreational fisheries (mrfs),participation,physical activity,recreational sea angling,united kingdom,well-being,oceanography,global and planetary change,aquatic science,water science and technology,environmental science (miscellaneous),ocean engineering,sdg 3 - good health and well-being,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1900/1910
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2023 03:20
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2023 03:06
DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2022.815617

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