On Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus Iabrax)
The European Anglers Alliance (EAA), representing 11 European nations and over 3 million affiliated anglers, held its 13th General Assembly in Greenwich, United Kingdom.
Following on the Sea Bass resolutions, taken at the EAA General Assemblies in previous years, the problem of the deterioration of the Sea Bass was again discussed in the light of recent national proposals.
The EAA firmly believes that the following actions must be taken to ensure that the bass stock is restored to include fish representative of the full size and age range and particularly to increase the stock of fish of breeding size.
The European Anglers Alliance urges the following actions to achieve this aim:
- A complete ban to prohibit all fishing during the reproduction period in all spawning areas of the species.
- As a precautionary principle we request all nations of the European Union to apply the quota measures already existing in France and the UK (5000 kg of catches per week per vessel) and to limit the overall fishing effort to current levels.
- The priority should be to increase the retention size of bass to allow them to reach reproductive maturity and that this is best achieved by raising the minimum landing size, and that this should be defined by law, aintained and enforced.
- To enable this to be achieved the minimum mesh size used in the bass fishery should be increased such that the retention in nets of bass below the size at which they reach reproductive maturity is minimized to acceptable levels.
- For the recreational angling sector as a whole EAA wishes to stress the significance of the socioeconomic impact of its activities in the coastal areas of Europe. In view of the emphasis within the Common Fisheries Green Paper (The future of the common fisheries policy) of socio economics and for the first time, “recreation” in its ”basic principles”, we request that our governments and the European Commission DG MARE take full account of the socio economic dimension of the recreational fishery.
- As long ago as 2002 it is noted that the Chairman of the ICES study on bass, Dr M. Pawson, recommended in his report of that year that the fishing effort in the offshore industry should be capped and the average effort between 1995 and 2000 should be implemented, otherwise the fishery will be unsustainable. We understand that the effort has not been capped, and the stock in inshore waters has subsequently declined
- The EAA will work to ensure minimum landing sizes are respected by all recreational anglers.