Sea Angler (UK) - - SEA ANGLER | CONTENTS -

News and views from angling bod­ies.

As you read this, we may be just weeks, or even days, away from the EU Com­mis­sion de­cid­ing whether we should have a bass bag limit for some or for all of the sec­ond half of 2018. This is it, sea an­glers are in the last-chance sa­loon. Speak up now.

If the Com­mis­sion de­cides not to give us a bag limit, we will of­fi­cially be­come sec­ond-class cit­i­zens. Although the bass stock be­longs to the pub­lic and we are not the ones who have done the dam­age, we will find our­selves locked out of the bass fish­ery with­out a key.

We will have to watch im­po­tently from the beaches, while com­mer­cial fish­er­men fill their boats with tar­geted and by-catch bass. The bass fish­ery will be pri­va­tised for the ben­e­fit of com­mer­cial in­shore fish­er­men.

The EU Com­mis­sion says its de­ci­sion will be based on whether an up­dated stock as­sess­ment (due in June) shows there is room to give an­glers a bag limit. But we say: there were 915 tonnes of bass-fish­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to be al­lo­cated for 2018 and an­glers should have been at the very front of the queue.

In­stead, those who only want to catch and

eat the oc­ca­sional bass, a per­fectly sus­tain­able ac­tiv­ity, have been sent away empty-handed. Fish­ery man­agers should al­lo­cate to the pub­lic first (we own the fish­ery) and then to com­mer­cials only if there is a sur­plus avail­able.

The Com­mis­sion ar­gues in­shore fish­er­men are de­pen­dent on bass and so must be al­lowed to catch and sell bass, but what about the jobs that de­pend on an­glers be­ing able to take the oc­ca­sional bass? Some 23,600 jobs in the UK alone rely on sea angling, and catch-and-eat bass angling is vi­tally im­por­tant to the tackle trade.

The Com­mis­sion ar­gues that restric­tions on bass fish­ing must be pro­por­tion­ate, but how can it be pro­por­tion­ate that an­glers can’t take a sin­gle bass, while hook and line com­mer­cials have had vir­tu­ally no restric­tions?

The fu­ture of bass angling for you and gen­er­a­tions to come is in your hands. Stand with us and fight, by go­ing to and telling the Com­mis­sion that you want the bag limit back.

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