Do you go bass angling in Ireland?

Please help to protect the Irish bass stocks

Irish bass in net

Irish bass caught in an Irish net, photo courtesy Allan Hughes

If you visit Ireland to fish for bass you need to know that your future fishing is in danger. The Federation of Irish Fishermen (a commercial fishing organisation) has placed a proposal before the Irish Minister to allow them to land bass taken from waters south of the line 51.30N, which hits the Irish coast around Clonakilty. So whilst off the south east coast any commercial fishing activity would be in offshore waters, further west towards Cork this line of latitude is far closer to the shore and once west of Clonakilty is actually up to the shore.

The Federation of irish Fishermen are seeking an ‘industry/science partnership programme of research’ to assess Irish inshore bass stocks. This could spell real danger for bass angling in the Republic. We must be very worried that this so-called ‘industry/science partnership’ is really just the ‘thin end of the wedge’ in opening the door to a return to the commercial exploitation of bass in Ireland The protection of Irish bass, that has done so much to encourage sea angler tourism to Ireland, will be endangered at a time when Ireland will need more tourist income than ever because of the financial crisis.

Please also make anyone you know with an angling interest for bass in Ireland, aware of the dangers and ask them to visit the Irish Bass website, to get more details of the problem. You can also read what Henry Gilbey has to say about it on his website blog.

In the first instance you should write expressing your concerns to:

Mr. C. Lenihan, Minister for State.
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources,
29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2,
Republic of Ireland.

If you can find the time please also send a letter of equal concern to the following:

Mr. Tony Killeen TD. Minister of State, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food,
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2.
Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Brendan Smith TD. Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Agriculture House,
Kildare Street,
Dublin 2.
Republic of Ireland.

Mr. Martin Cullen TD. Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism,
23 Kildare Street,
Dublin 2.
Republic of Ireland.

Mr Eamonn Ryan TD. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources,
29-31 Adelaide Road,
Dublin 2.
Republic of Ireland.

It is also worth signing the online petition, but please remember that politicians take much more notice of individual letters.