top of page

About Us

Dr Simon Thomas and John McMaster have long recognised the vast pool of knowledge which exists within the recreational sea angling sector as although many charter skippers and sea anglers don’t recognise it, they are in fact “Experts by Experience”.


A little over two years ago Simon and John took the decision to see if a way could be found to access these data and use it to better understand and protect the shark species and improve recreational sea anglings positioning.


Many skippers and anglers have, in good faith, previously shared data with conservation/scientific organisations, only to find it being used in a manner which they were not in agreement with. 

In addition many skippers and anglers were not made aware of their rights under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) when sharing their data so John and Simon knew they had to provide a solid assurance that any contributors data would never be shared without their prior permission and that GDPR would be adhered to.


This led to the creation of the Pat Smith Database  (PSD)which is named after one of the Shark Angling Club of Great Britains most successful lady anglers. The organisation committed to never share any contributors data without their prior permission and adopted the guiding principle that the ownership of the data remains with the contributor and therefore their data is simply on loan to the PSD.


Contributor permission is sought before any analysis of the data is shared, and in the event a contributor is not comfortable with the purpose the processed data is being used for, they have the right to have their data removed from that particular analysis.


Another feature of the PSD is that the data contributors are named on any scientific papers which have used their data. To date two papers have been published.



John and Simons vision was to collect as much high quality historical data as possible then add each years catch and release stats to it. Today the database has in excess of 105,000 catch records starting from 1953 and consist of Blue, Porbeagle, Thresher and Mako sharks. This makes it the longest continuous timeline dataset in the world for sharks. It is also the largest shark catch database in the world apart from the one held by NOAA.


Many of those who oppose the sport don't understand that anglers are in fact passionate conservationists and are at least as committed to improving the marine environment as they are. It's important for the sport to recognise that the responsibility to change this perception rests with it which is another area of focus for the PSD.



The PSD could not have achieved what it has without the data contribution and the sharing of knowledge from the contributors who quite simply are experts by experience.

Currently we have 25 contributors and if you are interested in becoming one or if you have any further questions please contact John or Simon at 

About Us

Our sharks are irreplaceable. Let’s save them.

Our Mission

To preserve and protect sharks to enable them to return to sustainable stock levels by:-


  • Advancing research, conservation, awareness and understanding of sharks through the collection and analysis of recreational sea angler data;


  • Improving shark welfare outcomes and conservation through increased recreational sea angler best practice awareness and education; and


  • Facilitating communication, awareness and working partnerships between the scientific and recreational sea angling communities by facilitating practical experience work placements, cross discipline projects and information transfer between both communities."

Our Vision

To position recreational sea angling in its rightful place as a key contributor  in marine conservation, due to their knowledge acquired by interacting with the marine environment over an extended period.


To demonstrate recreational sea angler are guardians of our oceans  as the Experts by Experience.

bottom of page