The voice of the British tackle industry

The Angling Trades Association represents manufacturers, retailers, fisheries, charter boats and, in fact, the entire British tackle industry, working on behalf of members to boost their business.

We caught up with ATA chairman Andrew Race to find out more.


TGF: What is the Angling Trades Association and what does it do?

Andrew Race: Our role is to promote, represent and protect all aspects of the angling trade. We work to affect growth in the industry and promote growth in angling participation through support of angling initiatives.

TGF: There have been some changes to it in the last 18 months, including you becoming chairman. What’s new?

AR: Prior to my chairmanship, the association between the ATA and the other industry stakeholders was disjointed. My first goal was to bring the ATA in from the cold and work closely with other stakeholders like the Angling Trust and Environment Agency towards a common goal and we have achieved that.

At the same time, the ATA was in desperate need of modernisation and restructure to more efficiently achieve the results our members wanted. We now have a new planned structure to work towards, which will allow us to support the industry more effectively.

TGF: Why is the ATA so important for the industry and why should tackle companies, fisheries and businesses join?

AR: First and foremost, the ATA is the vehicle that gives a voice to the industry. The fact that we work with government and other major stakeholders to determine national angling strategy and UK fisheries policy, means that our members can have a say in their industries’ policies and future which is a significant benefit.

The ATA continues to invest in angling and growth in participation through our Take A Friend Fishing and National Fishing Month brands. We also provide a growing range of benefits for our members including financial and legal advice, retail financing packages and promotion across our social media and database.

TGF: It’s great that the ATA is having a presence at The Game Fair this summer. What can visitors to your stand look forward to?

AR: Our foremost objective is to increase awareness of who we are and what the ATA does for both angling and trade. Hopefully we can acquire a few new members whilst we are there. Whilst the ATA is a largely trade-facing organisation there has always been an enthusiastic interface between the trade and anglers at events and shows. We will also be promoting both Take A Friend Fishing and National Fishing Month in support of our work with Angling Trust and Environment Agency to grow participation.

TGF: The pandemic appears to have given a huge boost to angling. Why do you think that is?

AR: Over the last ten years or so, outdoor sports have had increasing competition from more sedentary, electronic-based pastimes and a changing lifestyle that has restricted leisure time. The restrictions bought about by the pandemic have focussed people’s attention on the outdoors and what it means to them to get out and connect with the environment.

Lapsed anglers have remembered why they used to go fishing and new entrants to the sport have either been taken out by existing anglers or simply tried something new in a bid to connect and relax.

Angling ticks many of the boxes when it comes to a relaxing pastime, it now falls upon the industry to develop angling styles to fit in with people’s modern lifestyles.

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