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Don't let quality bass disappear

Don’t let quality bass disappear, photo courtesy Tony Hooper, a regular visitor to Ireland

Join Henry Gilbey, Matt Hayes, Paul Young, and others in the campaign to protect Irish bass

Following on from our report of 9th February 2010 (see below) there has now been a re-shuffle of the Irish Government and there is a new Fisheries Minister in post. He is Minister Sean Connick TD and he is, by repute, more sympathetic to the commercial fishing interests than his predecessor. It is therefore vital that all who read this and who care about the preservation of good recreational bass angling in Ireland write to him as soon as possible expressing your worry and concern about the proposal to allow the Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF) to develop an “industry/science partnership programme of research’ to assess Irish inshore bass stocks”. We all know that, in reality, this is nothing other than an attempt by commercial fisherman to ‘get a foot in the door’ and bring an end to the situation where Irish bass stocks have, for the last twenty years, been protected against commercial exploitation.

John Quinlan from the campaign group for Irish Bass said this week:

Sean Connick is the new Minister for Fisheries in Ireland. After a small amount of research it appears his sympathies lie completely with commercial fishermen. It also appears he feels commercial fishermen should be allowed access to Irish inshore bass stocks. Commercial fishing interests will be contacting him immediately to make sure he looks after their interests. I know it takes a little time and effort but it is absolutely vital that anglers take the time to write a letter to him straight away focusing on the following points:

1) Tell him how much you spend on your bass fishing trips to Ireland and how much it benefits people in remote coastal communities.
2) That keeping sea bass as a recreational resource is the right thing to do because commercial fishermen have already proved they cannot sustainably manage this species.
3) That bass angling is a 8 million euro industry in Ireland, which directly and indirectly employs hundreds of people and those jobs must be protected.
4) Make the Minister aware that you could easily take your money elsewhere if you feel the Irish bass stocks are not being protected and any change in the current legislation would encourage you to go elsewhere.”

It is a good idea to email him first, then write to him at: Minister Sean Connick TD, Priory Lane, The Quay, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Republic of Ireland. Email Minister Sean Connick TD

When you have done that, please send copies of your letter and email to Minister Mary Hannifin, Minister for Tourism, Department of Tourism Culture and Sport, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland. Email Minister Mary Hannifin

Finally, please go to www.irishbass.org to see the good work they are doing.