Let’s go fish­ing

Sea Angler (UK) - - CONTENTS - Cliff Brown, Edi­tor

T here’s noth­ing like lim­it­ing an­glers from keep­ing fish to pro­voke out­rage. The fact we can­not re­tain any bass caught at the mo­ment, and then only one a day from July 1, seems to have been the fi­nal straw that broke the camel’s back.

Yes, wide­spread op­po­si­tion to the 2016 bass reg­u­la­tions seems to have stirred sea an­glers into mak­ing their voices heard. It fol­lows a plea, de­tailed here last month, from the An­gling Trades As­so­ci­a­tion (ATA) for busi­nesses and an­glers to make their com­plaints heard by shout­ing louder.

So it’s grat­i­fy­ing to hear there will be a peace­ful demon­stra­tion on April 9 in op­po­si­tion to the end­ing of a pub­lic right to catch and keep bass. It is hoped the event will at­tract wider me­dia cov­er­age of an­glers’ op­po­si­tion to the EU leg­is­la­tion. I’d urge those in­ter­ested to meet at 10am in Rosewarne car park, Cam­borne, Corn­wall, TR14 8BE, for a march to the con­stituency of­fice of lo­cal MP Ge­orge Eus­tice, who is also Fish­eries Min­is­ter. The event ends at 11am.

While it’s easy to sit back and be an arm­chair war­rior, those mak­ing this first small step could set the scene for some­thing big­ger and should be con­grat­u­lated.

Hav­ing men­tioned the ATA ear­lier, there is an in­ter­est­ing view­point from David Mitchell, the An­gling Trust’s marine cam­paigns man­ager, about how busi­nesses should be mak­ing their voices heard too (see page 36).

David reck­ons that the Gov­ern­ment doesn’t get held to ac­count by the an­gling trade whose busi­nesses, and the jobs they pro­vide, are re­liant on an­glers con­tin­u­ing to go fish­ing. He won­ders if the Fish­eries

Min­is­ter would have de­manded a bet­ter deal for an­glers if he knew that small busi­ness own­ers and thou­sands of em­ploy­ees ser­vic­ing sea an­glers were wait­ing to tear strips off him if he came home with a bad deal.

He con­cludes that this is all about to change af­ter the sign­ing of a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing be­tween the An­gling Trust and the ATA (as re­ported in this mag­a­zine last month).

I noted with in­ter­est that the An­gling Trust is now urg­ing sea an­glers not to as­sist in a sur­vey that could be used against us. It will not be sup­port­ing Sea An­gling 2016, a new project to col­lect data on catches from re­cre­ational sea an­glers. Com­mis­sioned by the Cen­tre for En­vi­ron­ment, Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture Science (Ce­fas), the sur­vey fol­lows up on the Sea An­gling 2012 project, which was used to jus­tify the lat­est bass reg­u­la­tions.

The An­gling Trust be­lieves that the Gov­ern­ment has re­fused to take on board any pre­vi­ous rec­om­men­da­tions or re­sults that would fairly rep­re­sent re­cre­ational sea an­glers in the man­age­ment of marine fish­ery re­sources, so it says an­glers should not get in­volved this time.

Fi­nally, I must con­grat­u­late Tom As­cott on the cap­ture of a 66lb 8oz world record shore-caught cod from Nor­way. Tom, who tells his story on page 108, said: “It ab­so­lutely de­stroyed me and to­wards the end of the fight I was just pray­ing that it wasn’t go­ing to go on an­other run be­cause I don’t think my back could have taken any more.” It’s a great tale. En­joy the mag­a­zine.

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