Bass - open letter to EU and ministers by EAA and EFTTA

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02 Dec

Today, the EU Commission, Council and ministers received an 'open letter' from EAA and EFTTA. Read it here.









● Full text of 'open letter' copied in below.
● PDF version, which includes EAA and EFTTA contacts information HERE


Open letter to the Council, Commission, fisheries ministers and ministries in France, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland


Bass – control of the monthly bag limit 2017

The European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Associations (EFTTA) are grateful that the Commission listened to our wish for more flexibility and proposed a monthly bag limit next year. This year’s bass measures have hit hard and disproportionally the recreational angling sector, in particular the charter boating segment.

We understand that some member state advisers are sceptical about the control and enforcement of such a monthly bag limit in comparison with a daily bag limit. Therefore we would like to put straight a few things of importance in this regard.
 
● We agree with the sceptics that an insufficient control scheme could mean the monthly bag limit of ten fish as proposed (we would have liked 15 by the way) in reality could work not as a monthly but a daily limit as cheating would be difficult to prove.

● Therefore, we have suggested, that:

1) - The daily bag limit and the monthly bag limit should co-exist.

2) - Those anglers who for whatever reason would like to fish a monthly limit instead of a daily one would have to sign up to a scheme to register their catches. We have suggested either/or:  

a) - A carcass tagging scheme: EAA’s French member organisation FNPPSF can give you the details about how that works for recreational catches of tuna, the administration and cost.

b) - An electronic log-book: Such a system can be operated by the angler via landline, mobile phone, smart-phone and PC. The technology is there. Several apps to register fish catches have been developed and are in function already. We are in contact with developers in UK, France and the Netherlands and they tell us they can have a system for bass up running in April next year (which would be right after the February/March no-retention season is over). All what is needed is the green light from the member states, and funding to start up (which we believe can be co or fully funded by EU) and to run the scheme (which could be solved in different ways from one member state to another).

Fisheries management is notoriously ‘plagued’ by lack of good catch data.
The electronic-log book scheme would provide more and better bass catch data. If many anglers sign up the sampling of catches - which member states are obliged to deliver to the Commission - could happen more frequently and with more accuracy e.g. every month. This would open up for the produce of data series, which can be used to evaluate the impact of new measures, anglers’ preferred (bass) fishing days and much more,

The electronic-log book scheme also could act as inspiration for something similar to happen with regard to small-scale fisheries, which enjoys a number of catch and sales derogations from the technical measures regulation (see ‘Annex’ next page).

 ENDS

--------------------

Notes to editors:

● EAA recently launched a new film in the European Parliament setting out a vision for the long term management of sea bass. Watch it HERE

● EAA bass dossier:www.eaa-europe.org/topics/sea-bass

Annex:

● UK angling charter boats“are projected to lose approximately £2.8m in bookings over the course of 2016 – approx. 50 per cent of the value of all recorded bass landed commercially into the UK.”

"For fixed/driftnets, the landings including the Cefas logbook estimates for under 10 m vessels results in a landings series that is on average around three times higher than the official statistics.";ICES report, page 93

 ● Some derogations in the Technical Measures Regulation:

Article 14 - Completion and submission of the fishing logbook
Exemption: “only catches > 50kg/species”. Article 16 - Fishing vessels not subject to fishing logbook requirements

Article 21 - Completion and submission of the transhipment declaration
Exemption: “only catches > 50kg/species”

Article 25 - Vessels not subject to landing declaration requirements

Article 56 - Principles for the control of marketing
Exemption: “own consumption < 30 kg”

Article 59 - First sale of fisheries products
Exemption: “own consumption < 30 kg”

Article 65 - Exemptions from sales notes requirements
Exemption: “own consumption < 30 kg + the 50 kg rule”

Electronic monitoring, log-books – some literature:

● “Angler apps as a source of recreational fisheries data: Opportunities, challenges and proposed standards”; by Paul Venturelli; Kieran Hyder; Christian Skov - Article in Fish and Fisheries · September 2016 (PDF available)

● “MLS - Mobile Logbook System - Mobile devices and information transmission from fishing vessels”; by Claus Schive; April 27, 2006; Halden, Norway

● “New Report Highlights Challenges, Opportunities, and Cost-Modeling of Electronic Fisheries Monitoring Programs”; by Melissa Mahoney; November 29, 2016

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