Procedures for Claiming a British Record for a Rod Caught Fish
(a) The claimant should contact the Committee Secretary by Telephone: 0844 7700616 Fax: 01159 819039, or by post to BRFC, Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 8DQ E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(b) Advice will then be given concerning preservation, identification and claims procedure.
2. Claims must be confirmed promptly in writing to the Secretary stating:
The species of fish, the weight and if a game fish whether a natural or cultivated fish or in the case of the Rainbow Trout whether a cultivated, resident or wild fish,
The date and place of capture, the tackle used, and in the case of sea fish whether shore or boat caught.
The names and addresses of witnesses, preferably two, both as to the capture by the claimant and the weight, who will be required to sign the forms supporting the claim. (If no witnesses to the capture are available, the claimant must verify his claim by affidavit).
Photographs of the fish must be made available which should be good quality and preferably in colour. They should include shots of the angler, holding the fish in a normal manner, or in the case of a very large fish, standing alongside it, and also the fish lying on the ground on or next to, an identifiable object.
When digital images are submitted, all available images of the fish shall be accessible to the Committee on request and in some cases the Committee may require the memory card or other device holding the images to be submitted.
3. No claim will be accepted unless the Committee is satisfied as to species, method of capture and weight. The Committee reserves the right to reject any claim if not satisfied on any matter, which the Committee may think in the particular circumstances to be material. The Committee requires a high degree of proof in order to safeguard the integrity of the list. As a high degree of proof is required rejection of a claim imports no reflection on the bona fides of the claimant. All costs of submitting a claim must be met by the claimant.
4. Methods of Capture
Fish caught at sea will be eligible for consideration as a record if the boat used has set out from, and returns to, a port in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands or any port in the United Kingdom without having called at any port outside those countries. Fish caught in the territorial waters of other countries will not be eligible
Claims can only be accepted in respect of fish that are caught by fair angling with rod and line. Fair angling is defined by the fish taking the baited hook or lure into its mouth, and must be in accord with the rules of the respective angling discipline Coarse, Game & Sea.
Shore fishing shall mean fishing from any land mass or fixed man-made structure. In cases of doubt the Committee will classify a claim on the information provided.
Fish must be caught on rod and line with any legal hook or lure and hooked and played by one person only. Assistance to land the fish (i.e. gaffing, netting) is permitted provided the helper does not touch any part of the tackle other than the leader.
The fish must be weighed on land using scales or steel yards, which can be tested on behalf of the Committee. Where possible commercial or trade scales which are checked regularly by the Weights and Measures Department should be used. The sensitivity of the scales should be appropriate to the size of the fish, i.e. small fish should be weighed on finely graduated scales and the weight claimed for the fish should be to a division of weight (ounce, dram, gramme) not less than the smallest division shown on the scales.
A Weights and Measures Certificate must be produced certifying the accuracy of the scales used and indicating testing at the claimed weight.
In the case of species weighing less than one pound the claimed weight must be submitted in grammes.
The weight must be verified by two independent witnesses or one and a sworn affidavit who, for example, should not be relations of the claimant.
6. Identification of Species
The Committee is required from time to time to consider claims for fish of species which cannot be determined to its satisfaction without inspection. For this reason and others, claimants are strongly advised not to liberate or otherwise dispose of a fish for which it is intended to enter a claim until an inspection of the body, dead or alive, has been made by a representative of the committee and permission given for disposal.
While claimants should recognise that failure to produce the fish for inspection may prove prejudicial to the acceptance of a claim, the Committee does not bind itself to reject a claim solely because inspection has not been made.
All carriage costs incurred in production of the fish for inspection by the committee must be borne by the claimant.
7. Claims can not be made for species not included in the Committee Record Fish List other than sea fish species.
8. The Committee will issue at regular intervals its list of British Record (rod-caught)Fish.
9. No fish caught out of season shall be accepted as a new record.
10. A fish for which a record is claimed must be normal and not obviously suffering from any disease by which the weight could be enhanced.
11. All species of freshwater fish listed in the Record List are regarded as native or as established aliens and a Section 30 Consent (under the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975) will not normally be required, unless the established alien specie has not previously been caught in the water of capture.
In the case of a specie which is an established alien not known to have been caught in the water of capture before or is a specie for which no previous record has been awarded, the Committee reserves the right to request the production of a Section 30 consent and/or a Cefas ILFA Species Licence to hold and keep specific species of non native fish (under the Import of Live Fish Act). The possibility of freshwater fish close to, or above the British Record Weight being imported into the UK and claimed as a British Record has been considered by the Committee, which is of the mind that such claims should not be considered.
The following are rare or threatened species in Great Britain and are protected under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and later Orders. This protection results in it being an offence to capture any of these fishes intentionally. Anglers who believe that they may have captured a specimen of any of these species are advised to unhook and release the fish unharmed as soon as possible after capture.
Allis shad (Alosa alosa)
Burbot (Lota lota)
Schelly, powan or gwyniad (Coregonus lavaretus)
Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio)
Vendace (Coregonus albula)
No claims for records for these species will be entertained by the BRFC. (The entries for Allis shad and Schelly in the List of Records are given as historical records only).