Sea bass campaign launched at the European Parliament


A new film produced by EAA and EFTTA
has been launched on the 11th October 2016 in the European Parliament calling for the socio-economic importance of recreational fisheries to be taken into account in the long term management of European Seabass.


Bass angling representatives, the angling trade and charter boat industry launched the new video campaign during an event in the European Parliament in Brussels chaired by MEP Richard Corbett on the 11th October 2016. Approximately 60 people attended the event including MEPs, officials and the press who also heard presentations about the economic importance of the charter boat industry, the example of the Irish recreational bass management system and EAA’s proposal for a monthly bass bag limit for recreational anglers – instead of the unpopular and unfair daily bag limit system.



European sea anglers spend around 400 million EUR a year fishing for sea bass. This activity creates many thousands of jobs in the EU through leisure and tourism industries. The bass stocks have been endangered by a poorly managed commercial fishery since the 1970s and anglers across Europe have been calling for conservation measures for decades.

Today, the European sea bass population is on the verge of collapse, according to the latest scientific evidence. Despite the conservation measures finally introduced by the EU in 2015 and 2016, ICES (the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) has advised that “when the precautionary approach is applied, there should be zero catch (commercial and recreational) in 2017” .

The management measures for 2017 will be decided by the European Union Council of Fisheries Ministers meeting in Brussels on the 12-13 December. EAA and EFTTA want the recreational sector to be considered in a fair way, given its economic and social importance and its limited and controllable environmental impact.

A proposal for a Multi Annual Plan for long term management of sea bass fisheries is currently also being drafted by the Commission. It will be published early next year and will have to be adopted by the Council and by the European Parliament – which for the first time will have a say on sea bass management.

David Mitchell, Chairman of EAA’s Sea Sub-Group, said: “Millions of members of the public fish recreationally and spend hundreds of millions of Euros, supporting many thousands of jobs and businesses, in pursuit of a publicly-owned resource – seabass. Yet recreational fisheries have been considered a total irrelevance to European policy makers until they decide it’s having an impact on “commercially important” fish stocks and then needs to be “controlled”. Given the overwhelming social and economic benefits of recreational bass fishing isn’t it time specific management objectives to support and develop it were included in the future management of European bass stocks?


Link to the video campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDmONwE1ETQ

Video with French subtitles:


Conference programme available here.

Programme en Français disponible ici.


Links to the presentations of the speakers:

Proposals for a monthly bag limit by Jean Kiffer, EAA France

Management of sea bass in Irish waters by Willie Roche, Inland Fisheries Ireland

Report of the event here.


More pictures:


The panel of the event was composed, from left to right, by Jean Kiffer – EAA France, David Mitchell – EAA England, MEP Alain Cadec, MEP Richard Corbett, MEP Norica Nicolai, Willie Roche – Inland Fisheries Ireland , Ian Noble - Professional Boatmans' Association and Maja Kirchner – European Commission, DG MARE.








Conference
Recreational Fishing and the Long Term Management of Sea Bass
11 October 2016 
13:00 - 14:45
European Parliament, Brussels 


MEP Richard Corbett, the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA) are glad to invite you to the conference "Recreational Fishing and the Long Term Management of Sea Bass" organised by the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment.

The event will take place on the 11th of October 2016 in the European Parliament (room A1E2)  from 13:00 to 14:45 - lunch will be provided.

You can download the draft programme here

Pour le projet de programme en Français cliquez ici.

If you need a badge to enter in the European Parliament, please register here.



Sustainable management of the sea bass fisheries is of crucial importance for recreational sea angling in Europe and for all businesses and local communities, which benefit from sea angling.

This event brings together representatives from the European angling community, including the tackle trade and charter boating, and the Commission and Members of the European Parliament to get up-to-date with EU’s sea bass management and the next things to happen.

Following the emergency measures put in place this and last year, ICES has advised that “when the precautionary approach is applied, there should be zero catch (commercial and recreational) in 2017”.

EAA and EFTTA do not support such a total closure in 2017 as they believe bycatches cannot be stopped, and the member states won’t agree a closure for this and other reasons but follow another strategy to rebuild the stock at a slower pace. That strategy will allow for some bass catches in 2017 to be negotiated among the member states. EAA and EFTTA do not want the recreational sector to be excluded but given access to a fair share of whatever amount of bass the member states agree to be caught in 2017. The ministers decide the bass 2017 fishing opportunities at the fisheries Council meeting 12-13 December.

A long term management plan is being drafted by the Commission. The proposal for a plan will be published early next year. To be final, the plan requires adoption by the European Parliament and Council.