Bass Management Plan

Sea Anglers Conservation Network

Anglers urged to support More and Bigger Bass

The Sea Anglers Conservation Network today called on all anglers to support plans for more and bigger bass in UK inshore coastal waters.

SACN is urging all anglers to respond to the DEFRA and Welsh Assembly Government's consultations in support of Option 2, an immediate increase to 45cm, and a new mesh size to be used when targeting bass of 110mm.

Those who fish English coastal waters should write to:

Nicola Clarke
Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs
Coastal Waters Policy Branch
Area 7E
3-8 Whitehall Place
London SW1A 2HH
email:
bassmls@DEFRA.GSI.GOV.UK

Those who fish Welsh waters should write to:

Mrs Hannah Hess
Welsh Assembly Government
ECM Fisheries
Government Buildings CP2
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NQ
email:
Fisheries@Wales.GSI.GOV.UK

Following the creation of a Bass Management Plan, by the Bass Anglers' Sportfishing Society, DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government recently launched separate consultations on the first part of a radical plan to protect and enhance the UK's population of bass.

The initial proposals is to increase the size at which bass can be fished for, from 36cm to 45cm, and to increase the mesh sizes used to catch bass to avoid bycatch of undersized fish.

At the current Minimum Landing Size (MLS) of 36cm, no bass will have spawned. At the new MLS of 45cm all female bass will have spawned at least once.

As well as ensuring a healthy and robust population of bass around the coasts of the UK, these measures will increase the popularity of Recreational Sea Angling (RSA), and the substantial social and economic benefits that RSA brings to the UK economy.

The measures are also expected to produce long term benefits for those fishermen in the commercial catching sector who now target bass.

SACN are urging anglers to also ensure that all their friends and contacts with an interest in angling do likewise, particularly those such as angling charter boat skippers, tackle manufacturers and tackle shops, bait suppliers etc., whose own livelihoods depend upon the economically important Recreational Angling Sector.

Anglers are being advised that they now have only a few weeks left to submit their responses to this consultation which may, if adopted, hugely benefit their sport in the years to come.

SACN's Leon said “It is a ridiculous situation to continue to target baby fish that have never had the chance to spawn. We now have a chance to do something about that, and ensure that bass can continue to be fished for by generations of anglers yet to come. We cannot afford to let this chance pass by.”

Further details can be obtained from:

Leon Roskilly
9 Iversgate Close
Rainham, Gillingham
Kent ME8 7PA

Email: leonrosk@aol.com

Tel: 01634 231682
Mobile: 07931 955 262
Skype Id : leonrosk

Additional notes:

Information about the Sea Anglers' Conservation Network pages are at:
http://www.anglers-net.co.uk/sacn

Bass are a slow growing, late maturing species capable of living 25 years, spawning 15 times and growing to over 20lbs in weight. Currently they are harvested at just 36cm, weighing 1 lb and never having spawned. At the new mls of 45cm they will weigh double that and will have spawned at least once.

Government figures show that there are as many as 2 million Recreational Sea Anglers who spend £538 million on their sports, with an overall value to the economy of £1.3billion. It is believed that the value of the sector can be greatly increased if fish stock management species are aligned to producing a better ‘angling product', more and bigger fish.

The Bass Management Plan can be found on the BASS website at:
http://ukbass.com/bassmanagementplan/index.html

Details of the DEFRA consultation can be also be found on the BASS website at:
http://ukbass.com/bassmanagementplan/consultation_mls.html

Many more details of the species, and the recreational fishery for bass, can be found on the BASS website at: http://www.ukbass.com