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Bag Limits for Devon?

Aug 28,2007 SACN

The Chairman of Devon Sea Fisheries Committee, accusing anglers of selling fish, is calling for bag limits to be imposed on unlicensed fishermen.

See: Western Morning News 


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comment Comments (3 posted) 
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(Posted on February 12, 2017, 11:01 am AugustFrott)

  • Once a Recreational only species, the Recreational Bass Fishery has suffered greatly in more recent years due to practically unrestrained commercial fishing effort on the species to meet the new market demand for bass. Both in the number of fish available to the Recreational Fishery, but perhaps more importantly because of the removal of most inshore fish of any decent size (sieved from the fishery by nets at 36cm, the current minimum landing size). The suppression of recreational sea angling by the wholesale and virtually unrestricted removal of one of the prime inshore sports species costs many livelihoods and loss of businesses opportunities (the current recreational bass fishery is estimated to be worth some #100million, compared to the landed value of commercially caught bass at just #7.5million - The value of the recreational fishery would be increased several times over if plenty of bass, big ones too, were more prevalent inshore). The Prime Ministers Strategy Unit's Net Benefits report recommended that bass should be considered as a Recreational only species. Whether bass are removed from the fishery to meet market demand for commercial sale by licensed or unlicensed fishermen, whether by net or by hook and line, makes no difference at all to the denuding of the recreational bass fishery. With no protection by way of quota, or a reasonable minimum landing size which would at least allow all bass to have spawned once before final capture, and there being no cap on commercial effort, increasing market demand will be met from commercial operations, licensed or unlicensed. (There is evidence that as quota and availability for other species becomes tighter, boats targeting other species will readily and legally switch to fishing for bass without restriction). So, any measure intended to reduce the capture and sale of bass caught by unlicensed fishermen, simply reserves stock and market for licensed fishermen with no overall conservation benefit. Although most Recreational Sea Anglers would undoubtedly welcome a conservation package that would proportionately cap the mortality of bass, both from commercial and recreational fishing, suggestions that the catches of Recreational Sea Anglers should be restricted, simply to ensure that the market is reserved for commercial catchers with no benefit at all for the anglers whose historic rights to take fish will be infringed, will be rejected by most Recreational Sea Anglers. In fact restricting the recreational catch whilst allowing unrestricted commercial fishing of bass is a complete reversal of the recommendation of the Net Benefits report. Rather than restricting commercial effort in favour of developing the far more valuable recreational bass fishery, the recreational sector, already suffering from availability of fish in the sea due to commercial exploitation, would be further restricted in how many fish they can remove from the commercially diminished resource! That is not at all what the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit intended! Once the principle is acceeded, perhaps on the basis of a 'reasonable' bag limit, the danger would always be that the bag limit could later be reduced to 2,1 or zero fish, and any angler taking a resonable number would in future be criminalised. It seems disprortionate to talk of restricting the catches of many thousands of legitimate anglers, taking only what they personally need, simply to make it easier for fishery officers to target the very few bad apples.
(Posted on August 29, 2007, 3:13 pm Leon Roskilly)

  • More Hogwash from the countries commercially biased sea fisheries committees. We recently had a similar proposal in the north east to reduce anglers bass catches to 2 per day. Fortunately our committee decided against these proposals. To take bass home for your own use is not illegal, to catch them from a powered boat and sell them is, and as Mr Venmore so rightly says "The only people who are permitted to sell their catch for profit are those licensed to fish commercially." anyone else doing so is breaking an already existing law and Mr Venmore should seek to use that law to prosecute anyone selling their catch (assuming he has some evidence that is) and stop asking for more laws that would be discriminatory against honest law abiding anglers.
(Posted on August 28, 2007, 11:23 pm Glenn Kilpatrick)

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