I'm not quite sure Nigel but in the recent DEFRA article it said
There was support both from the angling sector and other respondents for proposals in respect of “bag limits” and a chargeable licensing scheme for angling.
I don't know where this came from Nigel but someone from the angling sector has supported bag limits or DEFRA are lieing ?
Thats the problem Glenn, a number of people on AN are saying that the reps have said or committed to such and such but they are not quite sure, only trouble is that they don't add the last bit, the bit about not being sure what, where or when the dastardly deed was committed, in other words putting 2 and 2 together and coming up with 44. The perception of the term bag limits is being taken to its most extreme format, and similarly the perception that some angling organisations supported bag limits. I've seen all of the responses from the major angling orgs and none say that they favour all out restrictions on the number of fish (any spp.) anglers should take. We (YALASA) say we are against bag limits, but accept that were there are severe implications for a stock/population, bag limits would possibly be necessary. This position is difficult to argue against, in fact, many clubs in recent times have instigated their own voluntary bag limits, of a type, by introducing larger size limits on whiting when they are abundant in order to reduce the number of whiting brought to the scales. If flounder where in significant decline in the Esk, would you be against say a maximum number of 2 flounder being weighed in in club matches. Horses for courses Glenn, there are many shades of grey. It doesn't exactly say much other than there is some support for bag limits from angling orgs, what we don't know as yet is who else said what, whether some of the less higher profile orgs (regional clubs, divisions and or individuals) supported these, it also says others supported bag limits and licensing, that could commercials and environmentalists.
Now people could say well that only means for BASS. But it doesnt say this is just for bass. So am I wrong to assume that this could mean any species including cod ?
I have trawled the websites of rsa rep bodies and cant find anywhere where bag limits for cod is opposed.
If The angling reps have opposed bag limits for cod then I would like to have a read of what has been said, where and when ?
Or maybe cod has never been discussed, proposed. Again, a number on AN have lambasted the reps for discussing bag limits, we've been told that if we hadn't discussed such and such a species it wouldn't be in the limelight. Its a case of the devil you do the devil you don't. I have never discussed bag limits for any species other than bass, this was in direct response to a consultation or questions asked at meetings by officials, I would if cod was raised as an issue be totally against such a proposal (my personal opinion). You can't have it both ways, critisise for not raising it as an issue and critisise if it is raised and there is no prior evidence of any opposition. We'll cross that path when it comes to it, which after the fishing news article would appear to be a lot closer now.
Now in the past I have had Email correspondence with angling reps - I still have the emails but it would be wrong of me to publish them here. Now when I mentioned cod conservation I was told that with limited resources rsa rep bodies do not have the time to fight any battles for the species of cod. It was suggested that limited resources should focus on what is perceived as achievable.
Looking through the websites of the angling bodies, the absence of a cod management plan or in fact anything to do with the organisations involvement in anything to do with cod confirms to me that this area is being neglected.
Glenn, I can't remember, but some of that may be attributable to me, I don't know. But the truth of the matter still is that with so many pressing issues, effort has to be directed at either what is achievable or specific pressing issues, of which there are many. If ICES can't achieve the desired outcome/effect for cod, do you honestly believe that YALASA, NFSA, etc. can, it doesn't mean to say that it is a fight we shouldn't/wouldn't enter in to, I've seen first hand how important cod is to the EU fleet (some but not all member states), and rightly so. It is however, something that we as anglers can contribute to.
The EU member states have many scientists working out the best way to manage the cod stocks and the cod fishery with minimal success and no consenting agreement on the optimal strategy, for 4 or 5 angling volunteers to sit down by themselves and construct a cod management plan that Europes best scientists cannot attain, is possibly asking a little too much.
At the present I don't know what we (as anglers and reps) can do to change the current status of cod and its availability to anglers, for the NE its maybe not as significant an issue as it was 5 yrs ago, there is certainly some level of recovery. The size of fish is also an issue, but these are not going to materialise overnight, again as you posted a week or so ago, is it too early to determine whether the cod recovery plan is working. To my mind another 5 yrs or so should give us a better indication, not just with the stock abundance (SSB etc.) but also with the stock demographics.