About the Project

Catchwise : The Biggest Sea Angling Site and Charter Boat Survey in Over a Decade

Catchwise is an exciting new survey of sea angling taking place across England and Wales in 2023 and 2024. The project has been co-developed with the recreational sea angling community and aims to significantly improve recognition of sea angling’s value to coastal communities and inform relevant fisheries management decisions accurately.

Catchwise will record data from sea anglers and charter boats across a 12-month period to understand who takes part in angling, how often they do it and what sorts of fishing they do, what they catch and how valuable sea angling is to local communities.

Catchwise will be the biggest single study of sea angling undertaken for over a decade and will involve a major shore and private boat survey of sea anglers as well as a survey of charter boats.

The project will be delivered by Substance, the Angling Trust and Cefas.

What is involved?

Catchwise will involve face-to-face surveying of thousands of sea anglers all around the English and Welsh coast and an online survey of charter boats.

The project will report in early 2025 and will help inform the funding of sea angling, demonstrate its importance to coastal communities and highlight recreational use of UK fish stocks.

Recreational anglers catch around 100 species each year, many of which are non-quota and non-commercial stocks, and this project will provide new and improved data on data-poor stocks that are important recreationally. These include Gurnards, Black Seabream, John Dory, Pilchards, Lemon Sole, Cod, Whiting, Hake, Saithe, Ling, Blue Ling and Skates and Rays.

Catchwise: Protecting Your Data. Catchwise will do a number of things to protect the data anglers give us and ensure that your personal marks, catches and other details are not divulged. Find out how here.

Find Out More

Terms and conditions

Meet the team


Get Involved

Fancy being a Citizen Scientist?

We want an army of Volunteer Angling Citizen Scientists across England and Wales to help our professional surveyors to survey anglers and increase the reach of the project.

All Volunteers will get training on how to conduct surveys, guidance and support. Volunteers will also receive a range of other benefits including monthly prize draws, goodies, social media groups with fellow volunteers, a welcome pack and a certificate detailing your contribution to the project.

If you are interested in volunteering, and can access the coast in England and Wales, express your interest:

Work for Catchwise - Surveyor Jobs Available!

Fancy working on Catchwise? The Angling Trust are recruiting 10 surveyors to lead the delivery of the site surveys. These paid posts will be on a freelance/contractor basis and will last for 12 months.
Details here

Contribute to the survey

All surveys of shore and private boat anglers will be conducted face-to-face to get the very best data. Sites will be selected at random, and you may well be approached if you are out fishing. If so, please give your time as your information is really important to creating a better fishing experience for recreational sea angling in the future. Even if you are not catching, please speak to a surveyor! All surveyors will be identifiable by their ID badge.


Win Prizes!

All volunteers will be entered into a quarterly prize draw and everyone who completes a survey will be entered into a monthly prize draw for tackle vouchers from Fishing Megastore and e-subscriptions from Sea Angler magazine.
MORE benefits to be announced soon!


Project Support

The project is funded by Defra’s Fisheries Industry Science Partnerships Scheme (FISP). The project is being supported by a large number of angling and marine organisations. It has an Advisory Group representating the recreational sea angling community, individual anglers, charter skippers, scientists, fisheries managers and agencies. It includes:

  • Angling Trades Association
  • Association of IFCAs
  • Angling Cymru Sea Anglers
  • Institute of Fisheries Management
  • Welsh Government
  • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • Simon Thomas (York University)
  • Annica de Groote (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
  • Harry Strehlow and Simon Weltersbach (The Thünen Institute, Denmark)
  • Charter Boat representative (TBC)