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Sea Bass Back In The Bag

02.10.18

Malcolm Gilbert Bass

The UK angling public is finally able to keep sea bass caught recreationally from October 1st until the end of 2018. 

One bass per day will be able to be legally retained by anglers and other recreational fishers after a proposal was made by the European Commission which was adopted by the EU Council on September 27th and came into force on October 1st.

The Angling Trust has been campaigning heavily for a bag limit for recreational catches to be reinstated after a ban was introduced in January this year following flawed scientific advice which dramatically overestimated the impact recreational catches were having on the stock.

The EU Council agreed at the time of the ban that the scientific evidence needed reviewing after which the ban on recreational landings might be lifted.

Angling representatives attended an ICES benchmarking session in February where the scientific evidence from around Europe was reviewed. However, it took until June for the new evidence to be published and recreational anglers have been waiting since then for a bag limit to be re-established after the impact of recreational fishing in 2016 was reduced by 87 per cent from 1,600 tonnes to approximately 200 tonnes.

David Mitchell, Angling Trust Head of Marine, said: “Members of the public fishing for sea bass sustainably for their own consumption have suffered a terrible injustice in 2018 due to a massive overestimate in the impact they were having on the stock. We are very pleased that the right of those members of the public who wish to catch and eat a publicly-owned sea bass has been re-established for the remainder of the year. However, banning the public from catching sea fish for personal consumption in the first instance, particularly while allowing commercial fishing to continue, displays contempt for the rights of EU citizens and highlights the chronic failures of the Common Fisheries Policy. It cannot happen again”

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