When fisheries have a problem who do they ring..... the EA, our licence money pays towards the EA so yes i'm happy to pay for a rod licence even though the EA did nothing to help when my stretch of river was polluted.
I've gone with no for the licence fee, it just does not seem to be working. the condition of the rivers is going downhill and angling participation is falling. to measures of the value of the licence...what are we paying for other than to keep people in jobs?
While there may have been no need for a licence in those 'rose tinted' imaginary days of pre industrial pollution when abundant fish populations self sustained, it's literally a "different kettle of fish" now. The pressure on most waters near heavily populated areas requires conservation and policing measures, (for both pollution control and sustainable angling), so there is the inevitable political question of who pays for for such measures. While those who only fish commercial waters may resent paying for a licence on top of the permit fee, as others have said, the EA regularly helps out commercial set ups in difficulties.
So all things considered I'm happy to pay for a licence knowing that it goes towards improving the availability of fishing possibilities.
The EA really helped out a lot of commercial fisheries in the extreme summer weather last year so you can’t say they have no relevance to commercials. Both their experience and extensive equipment are a valuable resource in a time of crisis. I also think it’s morally wrong to say that our natural waterways should be allowed to die out as long as private enterprises are successful at making fishing available to the masses.