Bass are back

Anglers Mail - - Front Page -

SEA an­glers fi­nally have cause for cel­e­bra­tion af­ter the EU ended its out­right ban on an­glers tak­ing bass.

From Oc­to­ber 1 un­til the end of the year, one bass a day can be re­moved per an­gler, and there are hopes that this could be ex­tended to three fish in 2019.

The ban was in­tro­duced in Jan­uary fol­low­ing flawed sci­en­tific ad­vice on the im­pact of recre­ational bass fish­ing, and was over­turned af­ter in­ten­sive cam­paign­ing by The An­gling Trust and Save Our Sea Bass, work­ing with the Euro­pean An­glers Al­liance.

David Mitchell, head of ma­rine at the Trust, said: “The Bri­tish pub­lic have suf­fered a ter­ri­ble in­jus­tice in 2018 due to a mas­sive over­es­ti­mate in the im­pact that they were hav­ing on the stock.

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

“In June, fol­low­ing a re­view of the science, new ev­i­dence was pub­lished that re­duced the im­pact of recre­ational fish­ing by 87 per cent, from 1,600 tonnes down to ap­prox­i­mately 200 tonnes, giv­ing am­ple scope for the rein­tro­duc­tion of a bass bag limit.

“Now that the bag limit is re­stored for the re­main­der of 2018, theTrust and its part­ners will be ad­dress­ing pro­pos­als for next year, due to be de­ter­mined in De­cem­ber, and will be press­ing to raise the al­lowance to three fish per day for a nine-month pe­riod, to bring the rules more in line with those of the com­mer­cial hook and line fish­ers.

“If fish­ing mor­tal­ity is capped at the level ad­vised, then three fish for nine months would re­bal­ance the fish­ing mor­tal­ity of recre­ational fish­ing to ap­prox­i­mately 25 per cent of the to­tal which it was be­fore EU manage­ment mea­sures were in­tro­duced.

An­glers can now take one bass per day.

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