Bass are back
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.