Nigel Horsman has reported back regarding his recent presentation to the Southern IFCA:
“I got a good grilling and I think we won the arguments (but I would think that wouldn’t I?). Dr Antony Jensen chaired that part of the meeting and concluded (with the agreement of the TAC) that there is merit in our argument. He also believes that if a change to the bass MLS is to be made, it should be wider than just the Southern IFCA. He is therefore going to discuss this with both Defra at a national level and also the other south coast IFCA’s.
This is definite progress. It is crucial that we give this as much momentum as possible. To do that we need as many people as possible to write to Antony (at firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Dr A.C. Jensen, Chairman Southern IFCA, 64 Ashley Road, Parkstone, Poole, Dorset BH14 9BN) to:
- Thank him for all he has done so far and
- To encourage him and motivate him to push as hard as he possibly can for an increase in MLS.
So, lots of letters/emails agreeing with and supporting our paper. If you fish in Dorset/Hants/IoW (or anywhere else now, for that matter) tell him about that and your observations about the quality of the fishing. Agree with the economic arguments we have set out (assuming you do agree). Personalise the letter. If you have specific points please make those points. Mark’s letter (on the Forum) is fantastic and very powerful.
The Councillors, who make up the rest of the full Committee, have not heard the debate we had on Thursday, but will get the paper and appendices discussed on Thursday. At the full Committee meeting on 15th December they will hear a report on matters discussed at the TAC. That report could be very brief and may not result in a discussion at that meeting. If we want it discussed and debated at that meeting, to increase momentum and further add to Antony Jensen’s encouragement and motivation, we need also to email/write to the various Councillors, pushing them to push for an increase in bass MLS. The names of the Councillors and their email addresses are set out below. Similar message to the one to Antony Jensen, but pushing the economic/value to the tourism industry point especially. It is worth making clear that if the S.IFCA decide to make a new byelaw then that process will take 9 months+ and involve Defra/MMO and public consultation. This will not be quick or easy (but then most things worth having aren’t). So even if they are encouraged to have a vote on the 15th for a higher MLS and it’s passed, that is just the start of a process not the end, but just to get such a process started would be a huge step forward. It is also worth pointing out that everyone and anyone is welcome at the meeting on the 15th (I’ll be there), but it might be a bit of a non event in terms of bass MLS. However, if we get lots and lots of letters/emails in, it just might be interesting!”
For information, the names of the Councillors on the Southern IFCA are:
- Mrs A E McEvoy BSc (Hons) – Hampshire County Council – email@example.com
- Cllr Mr A W Rice TD – Hampshire County Council – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr Mr L H Ames MBE – Dorset County Council – email@example.com
- Cllr Mr K Wallace – Dorset County Council – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr Mr J White – Isle of Wight Council – Gerard.White@iow.gov.uk
- Cllr Mr L Mason – Portsmouth City Council – Cllr.Lee.Mason@portsmouthcc.gov.uk
- Cllr Mrs X Dion – Poole Borough Council – email@example.com
- Cllr Mr E Osmond – Southampton City Council – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Cllr Ms L Price – Bournemouth City Council – email@example.com
If anyone needs any further persuading that we need to do this: the meeting was told that the Weymouth Charter Boats have had a very poor bass fishing season and I have been told recently by a significant Weymouth commercial rod and line bass fishermen that there have been so few bass in the Portland Race this year that it hasn’t been commercially viable to bother fishing for them. I have also had a much worse season than last year. Whilst these could be normal fluctuations, I suspect they are not.
It’s very much up to ALL of us (and our supporters) now. If we really want this, now is the time to hit the keyboards/put pen to paper.