From: Stephan Beaucher, Vice President of the Collectif Bar Europeén (CBE) – A French organisation with similar aims to BASS.

This year, the albacore tuna (Tunus alalunga/ Germo alalunga) has paid the price of the closure of the anchovy fishery in the Bay of Biscay, with the highest landings on record.

There is every reason to fear that bass will this autumn pay the price of the closure of tuna quotas and thereby lead to an unprecedented increase in fishing effort.

Faced with this unexpected situation, the European Bass Group (CBE) has decided to make representations to the Ministry of Fisheries so that measures can be put in place as a matter of urgency given that current regulations do not permit landings to be restricted.

Urgent action is needed.

You will find an attached letter addressed to the Directeur des Peches Maritimes et d L’aquaculture (DPMA). If you are able to sign the letter in the name of an organisation (society or other body) greater weight will be attached to your letter. In this case ensure your letter is headed up with your logo.

The effectiveness and success of this type of action depends on the simultaneaous nature of your despatches and therefore an inrush of identical letters on the receiver’s desk in a few days time……therefore a rapid reaction is required (this very weekend).

Do not hesitate to pass on these documents to people who you know take an interest in resource management issues.

Thank you in advance for a speedy response and the rellaying of this action.

Stephan Beaucher

Vice President of the CBE.

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Rough Translation of the letter to DPMA (French Ministry of Fisheries) from CBE

Monsieur Damien Cazé
Directeur des Peches Maritimes et d L’aquaculture
3 Place Fontenoy
75007 Paris

Object: Request for urgent measures to be taken to protect bass

Dear Director

With the closure of the anchovy fishery since the 1st of July of this year,French pelagic vessels have transferred their fishing effort on to albacore tuna with the results we all know about.

  • Quota reached, one month before preceeding years and 70% of production stockpiled in freezers at derisory prices (of the order of 1,9 euro Kg)
  • Depletion of the funds held by producer organisations and strong demands on fisheries funds to cover the storage costs.

To recall the most obvious consequences of this situation.

It is now time to think of the future and the short term future.

In a month’s time, at latest, bass will gather in huge shoals and will be extremely vulnerable as a result.

As you know, bass do not benefit from any real protection in terms of quantity.

  • In contrast to tuna referred to above,it is not subject to quota.
  • The self limitation of pelagic vessels to 5 tonnes a week only normally comes into effect in January.

Now, only a small minority of boats opted to be indemnified for observing the biological rest period this summer.

All the conditions are therefore prevalent for the majority of these boats to transfer their effort entirely naturally on bass and regrettably it is already expected that landings will exceed the norm.

We therefore strongly demand that the French Authorities put measures in place as a matter of urgency so that the final cost of the measures to protect anchovies should not fall on bass stocks, notably in the following respects.

  • Bring forward the date of the self limitation of 5 tonnes per week to the 1st of November (instead and in place of the 1st of January).
  • Bring in quotas on a monthly basis only applicable to vessels with track record for bass in 2004 and on the basis of a formula which will on no account permit landings to exceed the quantity recorded in 2004.

Rest assured, Diector, we will pay a great deal of attention to the reaction of the authorities on this issue and the nature of their reaction.

Be in no doubt that you will be required to act on this subject.

Paul Guillou
President of the CBE

[Comment – Please try and make the time to write to the DPMA and support CBE as they have been most supportive of BASS in recent years. Thank you]