Studying the past is a great way of evaluating your current situation, be it spotting errors and pitfalls to be avoided, or sometimes to gain a fresh angle which has been overlooked in recent years. However, we mustn’t dwell too long on the past as it is, what we do now and next, that will have the real impact on our stocks.
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Below are copies of two letters written at the start of the 1980s concerning the increasing of the minimum landing size (MLS) in an attempt to safeguard the future of the bass stock on the South coast of the United Kingdom.

Interestingly there was the science to justify an increased MLS to 38cm however, it took a further 10 years (1990) to achieve a mere 36cm which remained until 2015!
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History has shown us that the science suggested one thing and the politicians simply acted in another direction entirely – the reasons for this? Well, you can come to your own conclusions on that one!
So enough of looking at the past – It is time we look forward and pull our resources to ensure a safe and positive future for bass stocks.

Could bringing recreational angling sectors and trade into one cohesive unit help our cause?
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Images © Steven Neely

We only have to look at the Irish bass policy which was influenced by various socio-economic studies that concluded their bass fishery was worth more recreationally than commercially. This resulted in a commercial ban and some progressive measures put into place all on the back of using tackle shops, guides and tourist figures to piece together a solid argument for recreational priority.

Now, more than ever we need to push forward ensuring we gather as much support as possible be it from the public or trade sectors and encourage as many people to get involved with both B.A.S.S and S.O.S.B.
or contact-> info@saveourseabass.org

What is done cannot be undone … so let’s get our optimistic hats on and press forward!

Blogged by: Steven Neely

2 Comments
  1. And the minimum landing size of 42 cm for bass was first legally applied for recreational fishing only in France and subsequently adopted as an EU wide measure.

    Still not enough but an improvement, and an example of the way conservation measures introduced abroad can influence the MLS in the UK.

  2. I should qualify ” subsequently adopted as an EU wide measure” by adding in sea areas North of Latitude 48.

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