We seek to achieve a broad balance of subject matter on this blog. Of late however, we have been somewhat weighted towards bass politics and the campaign for restoration of our bass stocks. I make no apologies for this what so ever, as the coming weeks the measures to better protect our bass will be determined and our voices need to be heard!
The messages coming from the EU meetings to agree on how the necessary reduction in bass landings will be achieved are mixed. One thing that has emerged though is there is consideration of a limit of a single bass for recreational bass anglers (on boats) per day. My personal view (*note it is not an official BASS view on this matter) is that given the need of an 80 % reduction in all landings, it is not unreasonable that we as anglers should contribute in some way to the necessary reduction, as long as restrictions are proportional amongst the different groups. Others out there it seems, feel their own interest group should not take any responsibility for this huge reduction. If past experience is anything to go by (in the case of commercial fishermen) this merely leads to ineffective and watered down measures. Given the forecast of the scientists who advise the EU only very significant action will prevent the predicted imminent stock collapse. So effective action NOW (they aren’t called emergency measures for nothing!) by the EU is the only option. Such restrictions in whatever form they take, might seem harsh for some yet had the predictions and advice not been ignored again and again in the past we would not now be bobbing down Sh*t Creek, paddleless and accelerating towards the waterfall.
In the next few weeks we more than ever need to keep the pressure on the politicians. Making our selves heard will make it so much harder for political manoeuvring and short termism preventing the overwhelming science and economic arguments prevailing. Fudged measures will not result in prevent a collapse in our bass stocks. I make this point as there has been little indication to date from the EU what (if anything) will be implemented to reduce the commercial bass landings. They account for a minimum 70% of all bass landed, yet commercial fishing is worth less than a 10th to the economy compared to recreational angling
Given this the prospect of anglers taking much (even all) of the hit is not only grossly ineffective in achieving the necessary 80% reduction; it is also would constitute an absolute outrage. So please keep emailing or writing to your MPs and MEPs to ask them what they intend to do to prevent our bass stocks collapsing and how any measures should be proportionate.
Encouragingly at the weekend the national press picked up on the EU meetings – and in particular the suggestion of the bag limit. Suddenly the issue of preventing our bass stocks from collapsing is no longer only known about by those close to us who have heard our concerns; it is now something people you have never met may just already know a little about. The fact it’s out in the open can only be a good thing given the weight of evidence supporting the need for action.
Read all about it below :
Finally if you (and family and friends who support our aims) haven’t yet signed our “save our bass” petition, please consider doing so as it all helps to build the pressure. The total number of signatories has already passed 2100.
Blogger: Matt Spence