On Monday 15 November 2004, the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS) launched its vision for the future, the ‘Bass Management Plan’ (BMP), at the Corus Hotel, Swindon.

This document details proposals drawn up by BASS, for presentation to the UK Government, for the future management of UK bass stocks, concentrating on the needs of the UK Recreational Sea Angling Sector.

The BMP was produced in order to provide crucial evidence, required to support recommendations made earlier in the year by the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit Report, ‘Net Benefits’ into the UK fisheries. Representatives from a wide range of angling organisations, the angling press, members of the angling tackle trade, and tackle trade organisations had been invited.

The BMP makes 7 recommendations:-

1. Bass Commercial Licences – for the retention of bass.

2. Bass Carcass Tags – to cap effort, increase traceability and improve enforcement.

3. Bass Bag Limits – to limit the retention of bass by unlicensed fishermen and anglers and to aid detection and enforcement of illegal fishing.

4. Closed Season – to protect spawning bass when they are vulnerable.

5. Increases in Minimum Landing Size – to strengthen the brood stock.

6. Nursery Area additional measures and enforcement – to protect juveniles.

7. Near-Shore Netting Restrictions – to protect our fragile coastal zones.

The BMP not only provides the evidence to support management for recreational use, but also provides details of the legal mechanisms available, in order to achieve a revitalized bass fishery.

The Bass Management Plan was well received by the audience and since its release many sea anglers in the UK have expressed their support for the BMP.

Draft copies of The Bass Management Plan have been presented to Defra and further meetings are being arranged with stakeholder groups, to discuss the plan and progress towards the introduction of legislation to create the UK’s first marine game fish under ‘The Bass Act’.

A complete version of the BMP can be viewed or copy downloaded from this web site.