Changes to fishing licencing are hoping to make the sport easier to access and more attracive, especially to youngsters.
The Environment Agency (EA) has launched “Get a Fishing Licence” on GOV.UK to simplify the process of buying one and is part of a series of improvements to the service, which include:
Free licences for junior anglers, up to the age of 17;
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.
Angling is one of the most popular sports in the borough and 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.
Judy Proctor, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency, said: “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 to make the process of getting out and fishing legally simpler.”
And to highlight the changes, the EA has unveiled three paintings by top wildlife artist David Miller to front the new licences which went on sale on this week. The three fishing licence designs depict salmon, mirror, carp and brown trout.