BASS and CBE returned to the EU to demand capping of fishing effort in EU waters

On Wednesday 3 May 2006, John Leballeur, chairman of the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS), United Kingdom, also acting on behalf of, Collectif Bar Europeén (CBE), France, attended the European Parliament, Brussels to present further evidence to the EU for an increase in bass minimum landing size (mls) to 45cm and a close season. This additional evidence was in support of the petition originally placed before the EU Court of Petitions by BASS and CBE on the 24th November 2005.

The following demands were made:-

  • The recommendations made by the ICES Study group on sea bass, (reports SGBASS 2003 and SGBASS 2004), which were adopted by the EU at the time, but never carried out, are implemented immediately. The recommendations, which were made by Dr.M Pawson, chairman of the ICES study group, were that bass fishing effort within the EU should be capped to the levels of year 2000 and the average for the previous 5 years.
  • That ICES conduct an emergency review of the offshore bass fishery and that, the EU Parliament, Fisheries Commission and Environment Commission investigate and report back.
  • The introduction of an EU bass mls of 45cms and a close season.

The offshore bass fishery has witnessed a big increase in fishing effort this winter and over the previous five years, particularly by Dutch and French vessels. The French vessels have been displaced from the closure of the anchovy fishery in late Autumn 2005 and 80% of them have switched into the bass fishery.

Elspeth Attwooll MEP, member of the EU Committee on Fisheries, who was present at the presentation made by John Leballeur in Brussels on 3 May 2006, has requested a private meeting with John Leballeur, BASS chairman, to discuss the situation, when she visits South West England, on 13 May 2006.