Further to our report of 24 November 2005, the petition presented by John Leballeur, Chairman of the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS), United Kingdom, and Stéphan Beaucher, Vice-President of Collectif Bar Européen (CBE), France, at the European Parliament, Brussels, on 24 November 2005 was received enthusiastically.

Following a very informative power point presentation about sea bass by John Leballeur, the MEPs discussed the petition in depth and decided that this should not be the end of the matter. It was agreed that the petition should forwarded to the Committee on Fisheries, and to the Committee on Environment, and a response from those committees is expected within a few weeks.

image:photo of John Leballeur (left) and Stéphan Beaucher in Brussels
[photo – John Leballeur (BASS) on left and Stéphan Beaucher (CBE) in Brussels]

CEFAS, in their scientific paper accompanying the Defra consultation documentation concerning the proposal to increase the mls of bass within the UK, support the view that 90% of any benefit of an increase in the bass mls within inshore waters, under UK jurisdiction, will accrue to UK inshore fishermen.

If successful, the protective measures for the European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) that are being petitioned for within all EU waters, should fully address the concerns being expressed within the UK commercial fishing sector about 10% of the UK stock that is currently caught by the International fishery.