The British Marine Federation (BMF) is adding it’s considerable weight to the campaign to see the restoration of sea bass stocks.

The BMF is the trade association to the UK marine industries, representing over 1500 companies operating in all sectors of the industry. Their members supply the boats, equipment and services that enable over 5 million UK citizens to enjoy every type of boating and watersports activity on inland and coastal waters.

Together with the European Anglers Alliance, the National Federation of Sea Anglers, the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society and a number of their fishing tackle trade stakeholders, the British Marine Federation have written in support of the campaign to The European Commissioner for Fisheries.

“Attention should be drawn to the link between marine industry sales and recreational sport fishing”, commented Justine Cooper, BMF’s Environment Executive,”in particular it is important to note that participation levels in sport fishing depends upon the availability and abundance of large sea bass.”

Leading campaigners from saltwater sportfishing welcome the support of the British Marine Federation because it will reinforce their argument that there is a far wider range of livelihoods being threatened by overfishing than just those within the commercial fishing industry.

In the United States, studies have shown that the socio-economic impacts from sportfishing far out way those of conventional commercial exploitation and as a consequence, species like the close relative to the European sea bass, the striped bass, are being increasingly managed exclusively for sportfishing. A recent study carried out in Wales on behalf of the National Assembly for Wales also concluded that the socio-economic benefits from Recreational Sea Angling outweigh those of commercial fishing.