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Commercial Bass Fishing At Flamborough Head

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The regions bass anglers have until the 3rd of December 2010 to save the regions bass stocks from commercial netting. North Eastern Sea Fisheries Committee have announced plans to allow netting of sea bass within the intertidal zone (ie close to the shore) within the area of Flamborough head and the Holderness Coast.


Sea Anglers and other interested parties have until the 3rd of December to register their complaints regarding this proposal. Your letters should be sent to :


Ms. Margaret Branson

Defra Sustainable Fisheries

Area 2C, Nobel House, London SW1P 3JR


If you prefer you can do it by email to: margaret.branson@defra.gsi.gov.uk


It would be best if individuals could draft their own letters of objection clearly stating why the netters should not be allowed into this area. However if you are unable to draft a letter yourself, please consider copying and sending the one below.


Dear Margeret,


I write with regards to amendment of the North East Sea Fisheries Committee Byelaw xviii, with specific reference to the addition of the introduction of five fixed bass net permits within the intertidal zone.


The proposed area for intertidal bass netting is home to an established stock of sea bass. More importantly, the area of coast within the immediate vicinity of Flamborough South Landing is home to a very large stock of juvenile bass. It is highly likely that this area would meet the criteria for designation as a “Bass Nursery Area”. I feel strongly that this should be examined further before nets are allowed into the area and unrepairable damage is done. Please act now before it is too late.


Further to my main concern as noted above, I feel you must also look at the value of the recreational fishery to the area concerned. Recreational bass angling is of major economic value to coastal communities. It means more spending in local economies by both local and visiting sea anglers. This spending is often greater than any that can be derived from commercial fishing from the same stocks. Kayak, shore and bass anglers from right across the region come to this area to fish for bass. The direct spending of this group of anglers (Fuel, Food, Accommodation, Tackle, Kayaks etc) is far superior to any spending made by individuals involved in commercial exploitation of the stock.


Netting of the intertidal zone means that the commercial netsmen will be targeting the same group of fish which is of importance to the regions recreational sea anglers. If bass numbers are allowed to dwindle away then you can be certain that the impact on local communities will be far greater than any gains made through commercial netting.


Whilst we acknowledge that the regions under 10 meter fleet have had a hard time of things of late, ie most of their cod quota being given to the more powerful (in terms of political bargaining) over 10 meter sector, we must object to your attempts to compensate them by encouraging a bass fishery within the area. Whilst we acknowledge that it is unlikely you will make a complete u-turn on the bass fishery proposals, I would like to propose a compromise.


The above mentioned byelaw aims to allow five fixed bass nets of 400 metres each into the area. The compromise I propose is :


* Split the coast into five specific zones.

* Allow only 1 permit in each of the 5 zones. If you allow more than 1 net into the south landing area of Flamborough the potential effects could be catastrophic.

* Allow only 1 net in each zone (Ie the 400 yards may not be made up of 4 separate 100 yard nets).

* Assess the South Landing Area Of Flamborough For Designation as A Bass Nursery Area.


Many thanks for taking the time to read my letter, and taking it into consideration when looking at the above mentioned Bye-law.


Best regards – Glenn Kilpatrick



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