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Sea Angler (UK) - - Mailbox -

BASS REG­U­LA­TIONS

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

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