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The Great British and Northern Irish Fishing for Health Survey



Section A: The Research Project

1. Title of project

The Great British and Northern Irish Fishing for Health Survey

2. Purpose of study

Recreational fishing is a sport and leisure activity in many countries worldwide and approximately 11% of the global population engage in recreational fishing. Fishing is plausibly linked to improved health through it being a therapeutic activity that is carried out in both blue and green space which have both been independently linked to better physical and mental health parameters.

There has been growing interest by recreational fishing groups and researchers in the health benefits of fishing. However, to date research in this area is limited, has been carried out in countries such as Australia, and no robust research exists that has been carried out in the UK. Moreover, little is known about why people engage in recreational fishing and why people do not engage.

The aim of this survey is to identify the physical and mental health benefits of recreational fishing in the UK and understand how the wellbeing of those who participate in fishing compares to those who do not.

3. Who is the researcher?

This survey is being conducted by Anglia Ruskin University, led by Professor Lee Smith ( and in partnership with Angling Direct ( and Tackling Minds (

4. Why have I been asked to participate?

You can take part if you are based in Great Britain or Northern Island and are over the age of 18. Please note that you do not currently need to participate in fishing to be eligible to complete this survey. 

5. How many people will be asked to participate?

Approximately 500 people will be asked to participate in this survey.

6. Do I have to take part?

Taking part in this survey is completely optional and you should only take part if you are willing to do so - you will be asked to confirm your consent to participate  before you are able to begin the survey. 

7. Has the study got ethical approval?

This study has received full ethical approval by the Research Ethics Panel in the School of Psychology and Sport Science at Anglia Ruskin University.

8. Who is funding this study?

This study is being funded by Angling Direct.

9. What will happen to the results of the study?

The findings of this study will be used to inform the campaigns and resources of Angling Direct and may also be published in academic reports/journals.

10. Contact for further information

If you would like to learn more about this study, please contact or

Section B: Your Participation in the Research Project

1. What will I be asked to do?

Before beginning the survey, you will first be asked to provide your consent. The study itself involves answering a set of survey questions around your physical and mental health and (if relevant) your current habits relating to fishing. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete.  

2. In relation to this specific research project, we need to make you aware of the following:

  • We are responsible for the personal data you give to us as a Data Controller (We are in sole control over the research).
  • You will be asked for the following sensitive information: Experiences, Health-related data.
  • You will not be asked to provide your name or any contact details meaning that the information you provide will be anonymous.

3. What will happen to your data?

All information collected from you will be anonymous. The responses you provide in the survey will be analysed alongside other responses; generated reports from this study will include your data but it will not be possible to identify you.

4. Will I receive any payment to take part in the research?

There is no financial incentive to taking part in this survey.

5. Are there any possible disadvantages or risks to taking part?

There are no anticipated risks or precautions to be taken when participating in this study. However, please be aware that some of the questions cover topics of a sensitive nature (for example, around your mental wellbeing). You are reminded that all questions are entirely voluntary and you do not have to answer any questions which cause distress or discomfort.

6. What are the likely benefits of taking part?

While there is likely to be no direct benefit to taking part in this survey, you will be helping us to better understand the role of recreational fishing in mental and physical wellbeing.

7. Can I withdraw at any time, and how do I do this?

If while taking part in the survey you no longer wish to participate, you may withdraw your involvement by closing the website. As the survey is anonymous, after you have submitted your responses (on the last page of the survey), you will be unable to withdraw your involvement.

8. What will happen to my data?

Our general privacy notice explaining our use of your personal data for research purposes is available here: Please visit this link for information about how long we keep your data, how we keep your data secure, how you can exercise your rights over your data, and make a complaint over our use of your data.

9. Can I withdraw my data from the study?

The information I collected from you was anonymous. This means that I won’t be able to remove your data, because I won’t know which belongs to you.

10. Contact details for complaints

Email -

Address -  Office of the Secretary and Clerk, Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Hall Lane, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1SQ.

1.1. Consent In order to proceed, please tick the following six boxes to indicate your understanding and agreement. Required

Please select exactly 6 answer(s).