Write to: Sea Angler Mailbox, Media House, Lynchwood Business Park, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The decisions from the EU on bass stocks were confusing, farcical and outrageous for the pleasure angler, and potentially very serious for all charter boats.
The EU has ignored scientific evidence. How can anyone supposedly with concerns about bass stocks allow gill netters carte blanche, while penalising the leisure angler? We must exit the EU, stand up and be counted and not rely on dithering, disingenuous politicians. We have a very powerful weapon – the vote.
When the referendum on EU membership eventually comes around, sea anglers should then vote accordingly.
Gerry Stone, St Albans, Herts
How on earth is the ban on anglers retaining bass from January to June going to be enforced? In my ideal world there would be a complete commercial ban within the six-mile limit, and a total ban on netting from the shoreline.
Mick Crompton, by email
Sea anglers (and voters) are learning that ministers, including the UK’s George Eustice, have caved in to the demands of the gill net fishery. This bass debacle just shows that the politicians are not to be trusted.
Eustice and his European colleagues have completely ignored scientific advice and allowed gill netters a 10-month ‘open’ season.
Is a bass crash now on the cards? Will he be remembered as a little politician who sold out to the bullying tactics and greed of netsmen, or could he, perhaps, be the one who saves the bass?
Mike Handyside, via email
Surely the best way to have healthy stocks of bass is to return the larger fish to increase the breeding stock? Come the day when TV chefs focus on other species of fish, will commercial interests switch elsewhere? Bill Reynolds, Doncaster South Yorks
I am disgusted at our Fisheries Minister’s lack of knowledge of conservation. To conserve breeding stocks, there should be two new size limits – a lower limit of 30cm to a higher limit of 60cm.
This would mean anglers and commercial fishermen can catch good size fish, but also ensures a good amount of larger breeding fish are returned to breed.
A ban on gill netting for bass for a period of three to five years would ensure more breeding fish survive. It would be a small price to pay to get stocks back to a reasonable level. Roy Alexander, Stowmarket, Suffolk
In light of the recent rule changes relating to retaining bass, I just wonder how many of your readers have ever been checked or questioned about the fish they have retained?
I have only been checked once in 20 years, and I fish every week. What's the point of implementing another new law that is impossible to police?
Chris Voller, Sussex
The recent measures to regulate the UK bass fishery are totally unfair to anglers and have favoured the commercial sector.
What is needed now is a concerted effort for all angling organisations and businesses to make a united stand and support
all the sea anglers of this country. Brian Collick, Redruth, Cornwall