The European Union working party on Internal and External Fisheries Policy meets this Thursday (5th February). This is to discuss further measures to bring about the 80% cut in landings ICES stated were needed to prevent a collapse of the stock of our bass (some recent background can be found here: The View of BASS: Keep Pushing for our Bass and our sport).
BASS wants the Working Party to implement the following to improve the management of our bass stocks:
• The 80% cut on bass landings that ICES stated as being needed to prevent bass stock collapse to be fully implemented in the near future.
• An annual no take season for both commercial fishermen and recreational anglers from 1st January until 30th April for coastal and offshore areas. This will protect the pre-spawning bass aggregations, allow them to breed unmolested, and maximise the value of those bass harvested given these are out of condition fish and of low relative value.
• A minimum landing size for bass of 48 cm for both commercial fishermen and recreational anglers. This is the minimum bass breeding size of 42 cm plus one years further growth. It should enable all bass taken to have bred once before they can be harvested.
• The suggested maximum landing figure of 1 or 1.5 tonne(s) of bass per month to be set far lower – if it is used at all. At this level it would only limit a few commercial boats, plus it is also hard to police with trans-shipment between boats a potential problem.
• Consideration of making the bass fishery rod and line only. This would largely eliminating considerations of problems of undersize fish being returned dead as returned undersize fish will be returned to grow into mature fish.
In order to help, firstly, please spread message far and wide on social media and on angling forums etc in the next 2 days. Secondly email the working party (send it to: Niki.Marlow@consilium.europa.eu and Secretariat.email@example.com ) to tell them what our bass need (your own words are best but just copying and pasting the above bullet points is still excellent!) Also ask them to circulate your email request to other members of the working party.
Thanks from BASS and our bass for your ongoing help!