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 first of its kind in over a decade! The project aims to collect important insights into recreational sea fishing – both along the shore and at sea. It will involve a major shore and private boat survey of sea anglers as well as a survey of charter boats.

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. Data collection will cover days spent at sea, targeted and landed species, retained fish, the socio-economic benefits of angling, and the positive health effects associated with it.

Catchwise is an innovative collaboration between Substance, Cefas, and the Angling Trust, , funded by Defra through the Fisheries Industry Science Partnership scheme that is working together with the recreational sea angling community in England and Wales.

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, 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

We send a newsletter to our surveyors and volunteers every month to highlight the impact their work has made. To read our most recent newsletter, click here.


Get Involved

Charter Boats

Attention charter boat skippers! Here is an amazing opportunity to provide valuable data to evidence the social and economic value of your business to coastal communities across the country, and to highlight recreationally important fisheries.

We are conducting a social and economic study across England and Wales to understand the impact charter boats make to their local area. Sharing your logs on the species you catch will help us monitor changes in seasonal fluctuations, determine catch rates and analyse the varieties of fish we have in our waters. Your help and continued support are vital to achieving this and evidencing the role charter boats play in coastal communities and fisheries across the region.

How can you help? If you’re a charter boat in England or Wales, you can take part by completing 15-20 weekly logs about your trips over the 12-months. Logs will ask for details such as weather conditions, species you catch and the number of people who were on your boat. The project will run from October 2023 to September 2024 and participating weeks are randomly selected within the 12 months.

We urge you to make the most out of every charter trip by signing up for Catchwise and actively supporting our research.

If you are a Charter Boat skipper in England and Wales, express your interest here:

To find out more about the project, click on the Angling Trust webinar for charter boats here:

For more information, you can speak to the team by emailing:

Volunteer Opportunities

Want to give back to your community, learn about your coastline and meet interesting people? Then join the Catchwise Volunteer Citizen Scientist team today!

Catchwise is made possible by our team of dedicated Volunteer Angling Citizen Scientists from across England and Wales.

By signing up to be a volunteer citizen scientist you can get involved with this ground-breaking project and make a positive difference to sea angling along our coastline.

Volunteers must be over 18 years old, and they will receive training on conducting surveys while guidance and support will be provided throughout the duration of the project. The average commitment for volunteers is 4 hours per month, which equates to one survey per month.

As a Citizen Scientist you would have the flexibility to engage at your own convenience whenever you have free time. Volunteers receive a list of sites in their chosen area and choose when to conduct the surveys.

Volunteers will enjoy various perks, including monthly prize draws, goodies, access to social media groups with fellow volunteers, a welcome pack, and a certificate recognizing their contribution to the project. This certificate could be a valuable addition to the CVs of students studying marine-related fields or early career professionals.

If you're interested in volunteering and have access to the coast in England and Wales, please express your interest by visiting

Here's what we're looking for in volunteers:

  • Availability for at least 4 hours per month (there's no upper limit), between October 2023 - July 2024
  • Confidence in engaging with the public
  • Interest in the environment and fisheries sector
  • Volunteers need to have access to a smartphone or tablet

For additional information or any questions about the role, please contact the Catchwise Project Manager at:

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!

Every volunteer who completes at least one survey during the month is entered into a monthly prize draw to win £25 for Fishing Megastore (or a retailer of their choice) and every angler who completes a survey will be entered into a quarterly prize draw for a £25 Fishing Megastore voucher and an e-subscription to Sea Angler magazine.


Other Research

We’re curious to find out what impact recreational sea angling has on anglers and the wider coastal community. This is why we have designed a 10-minute online survey investigating the social and economic effects of fishing for fun in England and Wales.

The survey covers the impact on physical activity, local economy, health & wellbeing, and the cost of living. Understanding these topics will highlight the far-reaching effects of recreational sea angling.

Want to share how fishing impacts you? Follow this link to complete the survey:

Alternatively, scan the QR code!

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)

Contact Us

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