Environment Agency unveils new wildlife paintings to promote fishing

01 March 2017

The Environment Agency has unveiled three paintings by top wildlife artist David Miller to promote angling.

• New artworks commissioned for the 2017/18 fishing licence
• Environment Agency changes the way anglers can buy fishing licences
• Junior licences for 12 to 16 year-olds are now free online

The Environment Agency has unveiled three paintings by top wildlife artist David Miller to promote angling. The images front the 2017/18 fishing licences which go on sale today (1 March). The three fishing licence designs depict salmon (Salmo salar), mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio) and brown trout (Salmo trutta) in their natural habitats.

The Environment Agency has also launched “Get a Fishing Licence” on GOV.UK to simplify the process of buying a fishing licence: www.gov.uk/get-a-fishing-licence. This is part of a series of improvements to the service, which include:

• Free licences for junior anglers, up to the age of 17, announced in November 2016
• The fishing licence now lasts for 12 months from the day it is bought, rather than expiring at the end of March each year
• The use of three rods now needs just one licence, rather than two.

People are required to buy a fishing licence in order to fish legally in England, Wales and along the Border Esk in Scotland. Sales of licences for the 2015/16 season raised £21 million. The money was used to restock rivers with 452,220 coarse fish, encourage over 35,000 people to try angling for the first time and bring 2,043 successful prosecutions against crimes like poaching.

Artist David Miller said: "I′m delighted to have provided the images for the fishing licences again this year, not only because it gave me the opportunity to paint three species for the first time but also because all the money raised goes back into supporting fisheries. Of the three I was particularly pleased with the brown trout, my favourite UK game fish, and one I love to fish for on small rivers and streams.”

Judy Proctor, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “We hope David’s stunning images encourage people to give fishing a go. Angling creates over 37,000 full time jobs and generates over £1 billion for the UK economy, but at its heart it’s a much loved outdoor sport connecting people with nature. We’ve listened to anglers’ concerns and improved the fishing licence to make the process of getting out and fishing legally simpler.”

People who don’t buy a fishing licence are not only cheating other anglers and the future of the sport but running the risk of criminal conviction and a fine. The Environment Agency urges anyone to report fisheries crime as quickly as possible by calling our incident hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

For those who can’t access the internet, fishing licences can still be bought by phoning 0344 800 5386 or over the counter in the Post Office.

The Environment Agency publishes a detailed breakdown of how fishing licence money is spent in the annual fisheries report on GOV.UK. Read it here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/environment-agency-report-shows-how-21-million-of-rod-licence-money-helps-angling.

More on the changes to licences here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/free-fishing-for-children.

George Leigh | national newsdesk | Environment Agency

The national newsdesk number is changing. If you′re calling from outside the EA and you have a media enquiry, please call 0203 0255 623.

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