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BASS Tells Minister to Beef Up for 2012

Oct 03,2008 SACN

BASS Tells Minister to Beef Up for 2012

‘Don’t Lose this Chance’ says BASS

BASS are urging the Fisheries Minister, Jonathan Shaw, to adopt a strong position ahead of the review of the Common Fisheries Policy by 2012.  BASS are demanding that UK national and regional legislation created for the protection of our close-inshore fisheries apply to all vessels fishing within the UK’s 12 mile limit, whatever their nationality.

2012 may still seem a long way off, but there is much work to be done to agree the UK’s position in readiness for the next formal ten-year review.

Of all the issues that most concern both anglers and inshore commercial fishermen, the amount of access allowed to other EU nations to fish-stocks within close inshore waters probably causes the greatest concern.

Although the previous review in 2002 allowed EU nations to create their own conservation rules within their own 6 to 12 mile zone (to which some other country's fleets have ‘grandfather rights’ of access), such rules can only apply to foreign vessels with the agreement of those nations, and the EU.

This has led to UK conservation rules such as those preventing pair-trawling for bass, and the protection of tope, both prized sport fish, only applying to UK vessels, whereas foreign boats fishing alongside UK boats close to our shores are not subject to such restrictions, considerably weakening the effectiveness of such legislation.

Of even greater concern is the reluctance of fishermen and Sea Fisheries Committees to adopt conservation measures within our own six mile limit (which is reserved for UK licensed vessels only), when foreign boats fishing only just outside the current six mile limit can legally ignore such measures. It was this situation that allowed the UK commercial sector to oppose the increase in the bass MLS from the current 36cm (650 grams) to 45cm ( 1 kilo).

BASS Restoration Project chairman John Leballeur said “It is essential for the adoption and effectiveness of UK fisheries conservation rules that they should apply to all, and that UK fishermen are not put at a disadvantage when trying to protect the valuable inshore stocks upon which both anglers and commercial fishermen depend”

“It is time to beef up the UK position to ensure a lasting legacy that will improve our fishing in the years and decades far beyond 2012”,   


Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (BASS)


Conserving the UK’s Greatest Sportfish

Notes for Editors

-          BASS is the society which promotes the interests of its members and bass anglers throughout the United Kingdom, seeking to influence Government policy to manage the UK’s valuable Recreational Bass Fishery to provide more and bigger fish.

-          The Parliamentary Joint Select Committee, examining proposals for a UK Marine Bill, have also supported the demand that UK National Legislation should apply to all vessels fishing within the UK’s 12 mile limit.  


Subsequent Relevant Parliamentary Questions

Written answers

Monday, 27 October 2008

Environment Protection: Seas and Oceans

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/?m=1750Huw Irranca-Davies (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Ogmore, Labour)

There have been no recent discussions between DEFRA and the European Commission, or my European counterparts, on the likely impact of article 9 of Council Regulation 2371/2002 on the Marine Bill, or the establishment of measures under article 9 for the protection of the marine environment beyond six nautical miles.

The legislative framework for the common fisheries policy (CFP) is due to be reviewed in 2012. However, the Commission is required to present a report on access arrangements to the Council and Parliament by the end of 2011. Subsequently, the Council will decide what provisions will apply thereafter. DEFRA will engage fully in this process to ensure that UK rights are not jeopardised, and that effective conservation measures are applied where needed.

In advance of the report, where we wish to protect a marine conservation zone in an area where foreign vessels have access, we will look to do so through the CFP to ensure the equal application of measures to all vessels.

Written answers

Monday, 27 October 2008


http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/?m=1679Bill Wiggin (Shadow Minister, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs; Leominster, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2008, Official Report, column 2021W, on fisheries, when he expects to formulate and announce UK policy in relation to the future of the 0-12 nautical mile zone under Article 17 of Council Regulation 2371/2002; and if he will make a statement.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/?m=1750Huw Irranca-Davies (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Ogmore, Labour)

We will be seeking views from interested parties on possible improvements to the common fisheries policy, including the issue of access to member states waters—in order to influence Commission thinking at an early stage—and will consider our position in the light of responses.

Further information will be available shortly in the 'Fishing Focus' newsletter on the DEFRA website.


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