With 2017 approaching we find ourselves increasingly wondering what sort of deal will be struck for recreational anglers and commercials regarding bass.
Whilst this video mostly talks about surfcasting it starts to bring up some rather interesting points about conservation and catch and release.
If you scroll through to the twelve-minute mark you will see the section where William Muller discusses his views on catch and release. Later at around eighteen minutes he talks about the current state of the Striped Bass fishery and some of the points he alludes to are incredibly relevant to our scenario in Europe.
To summarise his point on catch and release:
- It’s all about education and passing on good practices to future generations.
- Highlights the eagerness of governing bodies to favour the monetary value of caught fish and therefore the increased pressure put on stocks.
His thoughts on the current state of the bass fishery on the East coast of America:
- There was poor recruitment in key areas along with only two strong year classes.
- Stats produced by monitoring body don’t seem to add up to the evidence on the water.
- Questions the reasons for the disconnect – flawed sampling or poor conditions e.g. weather and inadequate food.
- Delayed action from governing bodies when it was critically needed.
- A failure to look at the true recreational value of the fish – taking into consideration tackle shops, bed and breakfasts, petrol stations etc. A much larger figure than being currently calculated.
- Acknowledge the social and economic pressure and limitations to effectively fix the problem.
Of course we have a completely different set of circumstances here in Europe with the state of our bass and the various bodies involved in monitoring and developing legislation, but I think he raises some very clear, concise and informative points which we should really be using as the corner stones in our attempt to secure a safe future for our bass.
We only have to look at the complete collapse of the striped bass fishery in the 1980’s which after some very strict regulations bounced back … however, it is looking like it is heading down the same road again!
We might not be so lucky to have a second attempt …!
©Images and text by Steven Neely