At a time when the health benefits of fishing are being underlined, the sport has been suspended in both Belgium and France as COVID-19 continues to spread across Europe.
In a blow to the industry in the country, the Belgian Government’s National Security Council announced that angling has been put on hold until April 5 as citizens have been told to stay at home and limit travel to only essential journeys.
In a statement, the Federation Sportive Des Pecheurs Francophones De Belgique said: “Fishing is prohibited until April 5 at least because it may involve the gathering of people and requires non-essential travel. The situation will be reassessed before fishing can recommence. “We ask fishermen to respect this measure even though it may be difficult to accept in view of the proximity of this decision to the opening of the trout fishing season on Saturday. It is in everyone’s interest because the sooner the spread of this virus in under control, the sooner people will be able to return to normal.”
In France, Claude Roustan, President of the National Federation for Fishing in France (FNPF) said in a statement: “As part of the ongoing pandemic the Government has seriously reduced the freedom of movement and its decree says that only small trips are authorised. Consequently, fishing activity must be suspended as it does not fall within this framework. “We thank you for respecting these public health instructions.”
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