The unique and exclusive continued use of bass in the Republic of Ireland as a highly valuable
Recreational Sea Angling fishery resource has been confirmed by the Irish Fisheries Minister, Simon Coveney who has rejected a proposal by commercial fishing interests to open up commercial fishing for bass.
From the latest Marine Times:
Minister Simon Coveney has finally decided to refuse the two year old request by the commercial fishing organisation, Federation of Irish Fishermen [FIF], to allow the commercial fishing of sea bass in the Celtic Sea. The Minister has confirmed that he is ‘not proposing changes at this time to the current arrangements in relation to bass fishing.
From the Irish Times October 19th:
The Friends of the Irish Environment has welcomed a decision by Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney to turn down a request to permit commercial catching of sea bass in the Celtic Sea.Sea bass have been protected since 1990, but only permanently since 2006.There is a complete ban on commercial exploitation and anglers are only permitted to keep two fish of more than 40cm in length in any 24-hour period.A number of sea angling associations have opposed a proposal by the Federation of Irish Fishermen (commercial fishing organisation) to permit commercial catching of the species in the Celtic Sea area.
On behalf of Irish Bass I would like to congratulate all of you who helped make this happen. I met Simon Coveney myself about this issue and he confirmed the same to me. Letters and emails really make a difference and show the Department of Fisheries and the Ministers involved that bass anglers, who have looked after our stock so well for over 20 years, can not be walked over and taken for granted. To put this achievement into perspective, there has never been a case in the EU where a Fisheries Minister rejected a proposal made by commercial fishermen where they were backed by scientific advice(Marine Institute bass report 2009). Our achievement is all the greater given that two of the previous ministers had publicly stated that they were in favour of commercial fishing for bass. Well done to you all and remember that lobbying works.
By the way Irish Bass is currently involved in the new IFI forum (Inland Fisheries Ireland public board), The Bass Policy Group(to form new policy on bass management) and the Tourism Strategy Group (develop bass angling tourism). We are still working on behalf of all bass anglers and will continue to do so.
Keep up the good work and lets: “look after our bass”
“There will be thousands of bass anglers, regularly visiting Ireland, who will be thrilled with this news. It is unique throughout the whole of Europe for recognising that their bass fishery resource is worth far more to them, especially its coastal communities, as a designated recreational only species. This must be wonderful for the Irish economy and especially good for the marine environment. It definitely shows the incredible potential for political influence when Recreational Sea Anglers lobby in a unified and concerted manner.”
Chairman, Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society
“Outstanding news that Ireland seems to recognise the importance of a healthy sport fishery for bass. All credit to the hard working people who have helped this come about, and here is to the future of this world class sport fishery. Long may this attitude continue”.