Mullet conservation

[Comment – We have been asked by the National Mullet Club (NMC), who have always been supportive of BASS’s conservation efforts, to post the following statement concerning mullet conservation. We hope that you will make time to read their statement and conservation paper, as well as, write to Defra supporting the National Mullet Club’s conservation proposals. Their efforts are all part of the bigger picture to ensure that the UK has a viable and sustainable recreational sea angling industry.]

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National Mullet Club – conservation paper 2006

The National Mullet Club has submitted a mullet conservation paper to DEFRA. The paper has the support of the NFSA.

You can view the paper at http://thenationalmulletclub.org.

image:photo of Gary Scriven with a 8lb 5oz mullet

[photo – Gary Scriven with a 8lb 5oz thick lip mullet. This mullet of over 8lbs may represent the pinnacle of this angler’s mullet fishing career, that has spanned many years and seen the expenditure of thousands of pounds on tackle, accommodation and transport. The fish was returned alive, and if it evades nets, may form a prized capture for other anglers in future. Its value to a netsman is likely to be a couple of pounds, or it may be cut up for pot bait. photo courtesy Dave Matthews]

We are asking for Recreational-only status for mullet.

Given the slow progress towards recreational-only status for any species, following the recommendations in the Net Benefits Report and the assurances in the Labour’s Charter for Angling 2005, we want to make sure that our paper is taken seriously and progressed on a reasonable timescale through Defra’s Inshore Working Group.

Please write a brief letter to the Minister, Rt Hon.Ben Bradshaw, MP in support of the paper.

The address details:-
Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London
SW1P 3JR

The letter does not have to be long, but a letter which arrives before the next Inshore Working Group meeting on 28th September will be particularly useful.

Please use your own words, but the following ideas may help:-

  • You are a recreational angler, who fishes for mullet (if appropriate)
  • You support the Mullet Conservation Paper submitted to Defra by the National Mullet Club on 4 September 2006, and want to see it considered seriously/promptly.
  • You hope to see a positive outcome/recreational only status for mullet given the assurance in the ‘Labour Charter for Angling 2005’ about mullet (This assurance was that the Marine Bill would include provision for the mullet fishery to be managed “specifically for angling” which we take to mean recreational-only status.)
  • You are concerned about declining catches of mullet, if you can, please back this up, with information about the area(s) you fish.
  • You would wish to be able to catch reasonable numbers of big mullet, not just little ones.
  • Mullet are vulnerable to commercial over-exploitation because they are slow growing (up to 20 years for 5lb) and slow to reach sexual maturity.
  • You are fed up with your mullet sport being ruined by commercial fishing when your sport contributes far more to the economy than the commercials earn by killing the mullet. (NB – The relevant figures are in the paper but could be as diverse as £1.60 per kilo at Billingsgate compared to £25 per kilo expended by anglers)
  • You fish for mullet sustainably by returning your mullet alive (if appropriate.)

If you do not actually fish for mullet, your support in writing is still highly valued. You can make the above points in general terms.

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