BASS AND THE ANGLING TRUST
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 Saveourseabass.org and telling the Commission that you want the bag limit back.
Keep up to date with BASS through its blog on www.ukbass.com or on Facebook or Twitter.