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Update from the British Record Fish Committee


David Paddock Chub Mackerel_550

David Paddock and his British record Chub Mackerel

The BRFC met at Fishmongers Hall, London, on 9th December 2013.

Present were: Mike Heylin (Chairman), Nick Simmonds (Secretary), Oliver Crimmen (Scientific Advisor, Natural History Museum), Nigel Hewlett (Scientific Advisor, Environment Agency), Chris Clark (Angling Trust – marine specialist), David Rowe (Angling Trust – marine specialist), Keith Speer (Angling Trust – freshwater specialist) and  Andrew Nellist (Angling Trust – freshwater specialist)

The following claims were ratified by the committee as new or interim records: 

Sea Fish






White Sea Bream (Diplodus Sargus)

2lb 4oz (1.02kg) Interim shore record

Gerald Gavey

26/01/2008 Corbiere, Channel Islands

1lb 9oz 8dr

Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias) (Formerly recorded as Spanish Mackerel)

1lb 6oz 12dr (0.645kg) Boat-caught record

Niall Sayers

11/08/2011 5 miles west of Jersey

1lb 5oz 8dr

Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias) (Formerly recorded as Spanish Mackerel)

1lb 7oz (0.652kg) Boat-caught record

Jimmy Hammill

13/08/2013 Off Cadgwith, Cornwall

1lb 6oz 12dr

Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias) (Formerly recorded as Spanish Mackerel)

1lb 9oz 6dr (0.718kg) Boat-caught record

Annie Knights

14/08/2013 Fourquies, Guernsey

1lb 7oz

Baillon’s Wrasse (Crenilabrus bailloni)

240grams Mini-species record

Dean Hart

29/08/2013 Off Bournemouth, Dorset


Golden Grey Mullet (Liza aurata)

2lb 15oz 4dr (1.340kg) Boat-caught record

Naomi Coulson

16/07/2013 Brixham Harbour, Devon

2lb 14oz 10dr

Atlantic Chub Mackerel (Scomber colias) (Formerly recorded as Spanish Mackerel)

1lb 10oz (0.737kg) Boat-caught record

David Paddock

10/11/2013 Off Penzance, Cornwall

1lb 9oz 6dr

British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee

c/o The Angling Trust, Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ 

Notes from the meeting:

  • The committee considered a claim from Mr Martin White in respect of the first recorded capture of a striped bass in British waters. Mr White’s fish was caught from Dover Breakwater on 25th August 2013.  The committee could not accept Mr White’s fish for entry to the record fish list because the actual weight of the fish could not be accurately established. However, as it is the first recorded capture of the species in British waters, the committee agreed that the fish should be recorded on the BRFC’s Notable Fish List.
  • Guided by the advice of the committee’s Marine Scientific Advisor, the committee discussed the correct nomenclature for recording the Spanish (or Atlantic chub) mackerel record. The committee agreed that records for this fish will, from 9th December 2013 be recorded as “Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias), formerly recorded as Spanish mackerel (Scomber japonicus)”. 
  • The committee has an ongoing discussion regarding new claims in respect of the coarse fish which are most likely to hybridise. The species under consideration are Roach, Rudd and Crucian Carp. Future record claims for these species should be subject to a DNA check to remove any doubt about the possible hybrid ancestry of the fish. The committee would like to invite claims for DNA-verified specimens of these species at the following minimum weights: Roach – 3lb 12oz; Rudd – 3lb 12oz;  Crucian Carp – 4lb 8oz. An angler catching such a fish should remove one scale from the fish from the area between the lateral line and the dorsal fin. The scale should be cut in half using a clean blade and one half sent to the BRFC for testing, while the captor should retain the other half. The committee is not intending to withdraw the currently recorded records for these species and will maintain record listings for fish identified from photographic evidence only and also for fish whose identification has additionally been verified by DNA test.  
  • The committee discussed the issue of the information which the committee will disclose to the media about ratified record fish claims. The BRFC’s agreed position is that the committee will at least report the weight and species of the fish. Any other details, such as the name of the captor, the place of capture and other details of the capture must be given to the BRFC by the captor, but the captor may request that any or all of that information is not disclosed, in which case the committee will respect that request and will not disclose those details. 

The official British Records List and procedures are available on the Angling Trust website at, under the “About Us” section or from the Secretary.

The initial telephone contact point of the BRFC remains at the Angling Trust Head Office on 0844 7700616 and email enquiries may be directed to the secretary Nick Simmonds at

Contact: Angling Trust Eastwood House, 6 Rainbow Street, Leominster, Herefordshire HR6 8DQ
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