This week, the European Union publishes its proposed measures to manage our bass stocks in 2016. Prior to the 2014 meeting of fishery ministers, many of us in northern Europe campaigning for our bass emailed the decision makers demanding effective management changes be implemented. The feedback was, that despite one country blocking any changes in the December meeting last year, our emails were highly significant in driving the politicians to finally act to reduce landings through subsequent emergency measures…. Yes, what was actually introduced proved wholly insufficient and targeted anglers disproportionately, BUT after years of our voices being ignored, the fact any action was taken represented a massive change. So once the 2016 proposals are published this week, our bass will again need us (and our family members and friends who support the cause) to contact the decision makers to tell them what we think.
The form of the proposals can still only be guessed at, yet the key is whether the proposals will be bold enough to achieve the 90% reduction in bass landings the EUs own scientists state is necessary (http://www.saveourseabass.org/en/now-what-taking-stock-of-the-european-unions-sea-bass-measures/). Then after we learn of the bass management suggestions this week we have just a month before the meeting to finalise decisions. So watch this space for news on: what is announced, whether the proposals are proportionate and sufficient (we can but hope!) and who to contact to express our views.
Remember contacting decision makers really DOES make a difference. So for those of us who care about our bass stocks and the quality of our future angling it’s vital we invest a few minutes and express our views.
(Words and pictures Matt Spence)