Header
Home | Sitemap | Set as homepage | Add to favorites
  Search the Site     » Advanced Search
Sections
Archive
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930



Fisheries Debate 2008

Nov 20,2008 SACN


A Parliamentary debate that took place on 20th November 2008 produced a number of references to Recreational Sea Angling in the UK.

Traditionally the annual debate, which takes place around the time that the Council of Ministers determines EU fishery opportunities for the fortchcoming year, has purely addressed matters of concern to the commercial fishing industry.

However, in recent years the debate has provided the opportunity for politicians of both parties to outline their concerns and plans for the development of the Recreational Sea Angling sector.

When they become available, links to and relevant extracts from the official record will be posted below.

In the meantime, it was of interest that Hugh Irranca-Davies, the current Fisheries Minister revealed that the summary of responses to the Recreational Sea Angling Strategy Consultation will be published by DEFRA next week, and that the revised strategy will be published early next year. 

A video archive of the full debate is available at:

http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/VideoPlayer.aspx?meetingId=2763&st=13:22:00&rel=ok

Relevant extracts from the written record:

Huw Irranca-Davies:
As we develop and implement our fisheries policy, we will also take more account of the needs of recreational sea anglers.
Next week we will publish a summary of responses to our consultation on the draft recreational sea angling strategy for England.
The strategy provides a framework and measures for the development and enhancement of sea angling.
We are currently revising the strategy with key stakeholders and I will launch it early in the new year.
Bill Wiggin:
One of the most important factors that distort our understanding of fish stocks is discards and the horrendous levels of discarding that plague our seas.
Millions of tonnes of healthy fish much of it edible and the remainder suitable for fishmeal are being thrown back into the sea dead.
Fish that could have ended up on a plate, contributing to achieving the recommendation to eat two fish portions a week, are of no economic or environmental value when discarded; and, if not caught by commercial fishermen, that fish could have helped to repopulate stocks or have been caught by recreational sea anglers.
Bill Wiggin:

In addition to the commercial fishing sector, we must never forget the contribution made by recreational sea anglers.

Figures from 2004 show that there are at least 1.1 million recreational sea anglers, contributing £538 million from 12.7 million anglers’ days, supporting 19,000 jobs.

Some 4 million people in total are involved in all forms of angling.

Last year, the Government announced their draft recreational sea angling strategy and put it out to consultation, which concluded at the end of March.

Although the Minister has confirmed in a written answer that DEFRA may publish a revised strategy by the end of the year, we have not been given any indication of the measures that the Government plan to introduce or the time scales involved.

Those who are involved with angling have little reason to trust the Government as they have already been badly let down by Ministers.

The sea angling lobby should not forget the way in which Labour has treated its members.

They were promised an increase in the minimum landing size for bass.

Then the Government committed a last minute U-turn and scrapped those proposals. “Net benefits” contained a promise that efforts would be made to see whether bass could be designated for wholly recreational use. In Labour’s angling charter, it was promised that bass would be designated and managed primarily as a recreational species to return best value for the UK.

Now the Government appear to be dithering again about taking action to support the nation’s sea anglers and bass fisheries.

Promises have been made to review the measures that can be taken to support bass fisheries, such as the introduction of bass nursery areas and netting restrictions, but sea anglers are being left to wait for action.

The current Minister has stated that research is being undertaken and a report is due to be published in 2011 on whether there should be restricted catch areas to benefit anglers in certain coastal and inshore sites, and measures to improve bass survival.

That report is three years away. How much longer after that will sea anglers have to wait for a comprehensive package of measures to support bass fisheries and sea angling?

In Labour’s charter for angling published in 2005, the hon. Member for Reading, West (Martin Salter) he is usually in his place for this debate, but sadly is not today, boasted how Labour welcomed the publication of the Bass Management Plan and had agreed to a programme of implementation.”

Those commitments, along with its angling charter, are now left in tatters.

The impression being given to sea anglers is that when Ministers are not ignoring them, they are breaking promises and paying them little more than lip service.

Sea anglers have a vital role to play in managing our marine resources in a sustainable manner.

I hope that the Minister will join me in paying tribute to those involved in promoting sea angling and merging together with other angling groups to form the Angling Trust.

I also hope that he will be listening very closely to the Angling Trust.

His predecessor ignored the views of anglers when he authorised a one-third increase in the rod licence fees for disabled and elderly anglers��"hitting some of the most vulnerable in our society hardest.

Now, with the marine Bill coming forward and the reform of the sea fisheries committees, their contributions will matter and must be valued.

Huw Irranca-Davies:

The hon. Gentleman obviously missed the comments on the sea angling strategy that I made in my opening remarks.

His comments are so shot full of inconsistencies that I hesitate to pick just one. However, given his protestations on behalf of the under-10 metres fleet, does he recognise that bass is also important to it, and that there might be some difference between its representations and those of the sea angling fraternity?

Bill Wiggin: The Minister has to decide which side he is on��"[Interruption.]

No, the promises were made in Labour’s charter for angling: they were not made by me.

They have been broken by the Minister’s party and by his predecessors.

It is a nice try.

Of course bass is an important species for the under-10 metres fleet it is not allowed to catch anything else.

It is entirely down to his party’s mismanagement of that fleet’s fishing opportunities that it has that lack of choice.

Mr. Goodwill:

I look forward to the introduction of the marine Bill.

What are the Minister’s views about recreational fishing in marine conservation areas?

We do not want commercial fishing in an area where fish can spawn and where we can conserve that vital environment.

Conservation is at its best in on-land areas where, for example, shooting takes place.

I hope that the Minister will consider that recreational fishing, which also plays an important part in the economy of Whitby and Scarborough with people going out on day trips, and even longer trips should be allowed to take place in those areas, obviously with certain controls.

Huw Irranca-Davies:

The hon. Gentleman’s support for marine coastal zones was welcome. Recreational fishing will certainly have a part to play in that, because the essence of the marine conservation zones and marine planning will be local stakeholder engagement. That is the how we see the project driving forward—it will not be a top-down approach.

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

NFSA Press Release

Fisheries committees may not fall to only six, minister indicates

A proposal that the number of sea fisheries committees should be reduced from 12 to six was played down by the new fisheries minister, Huw Irranca-Davies, speaking in his first fisheries debate in the House of Commons this evening (November 20).

“I have not suggested that that number is right,” he said speaking with careful deliberation .
“I will decide on the future number of inshore fisheries and conservation authorities in England, following full consultation with the sea fisheries committees, with MPs, and with other stakeholders, early in 2009.”

Several MPs questioned the number and geographic spread of the future committees, which will be renamed inshore fisheries and conservation authorities (IFCAs).   Andrew George, MP for St. Ives, Cornwall, said the present boundaries of the committees were working well and did not need to be tampered with.

Opening the debate the minister said sea angling made a significant contribution to the UK economy.

“Fishing is part of the national heritage, socially and culturally important…and it provides recreation for many anglers.

“Managed effectively, fishing can be sustainable. However, if we get the balance wrong, we could threaten vulnerable species and cause irreversible damage to marine ecosystems and the resources on which everyone - from fishermen and sea anglers to consumers - depends.”

The debate predominantly concerned the EU Fisheries Council meeting next month (December) where commercial fishing catch levels in 2009 will be decided but sea angling was referred to by other speakers.

Bill Wiggin the Conservative shadow fisheries minister said the House “should never forget” the contribution made by 1.1 million recreational sea anglers. who supported 19,000 jobs and had a vital role in managing marine resources.

Some 4 million people in total were involved in all forms of angling and he hoped the minister would join him in paying tribute “to those involved in promoting sea angling and merging together with other angling groups to form the Angling Trust.  I also hope that he will be listening very closely to the Angling Trust. “

His predecessor ignored the views of anglers when he authorised a one-third increase in the [freshwater] rod licence fees for disabled and elderly anglers - “hitting some of the most vulnerable in our society hardest.”

Now, with the Marine Bill coming forward and the reform of the sea fisheries committees, their contributions would matter and must be valued.

Sea anglers had been badly let down by ministers. The present minister had confirmed that Defra might publish a revised strategy for sea angling by the end of the year. 

The Government appeared to be dithering again about supporting the nation’s sea anglers and bass fisheries.  The minister had stated that research was being undertaken on possibly restricting bass catch areas to benefit anglers, and improve bass survival.

“That report is three years away. How much longer after that will sea anglers have to wait for a comprehensive package of measures to support bass fisheries and sea angling?

“The impression being given to sea anglers is that when Ministers are not ignoring them, they are breaking promises and paying them little more than lip service. “

Robert Goodwill, Conservative MP for Scarborough and Whitby asked the minister’s views about recreational fishing in marine conservation areas.  Commercial fishing was not wanted where fish spawned and where that vital environment could be conserved.

“Conservation is at its best in on-land areas where, for example, shooting takes place.

“I hope that the Minister will consider that recreational fishing, which also plays an important part in the economy of Whitby and Scarborough…should be allowed to take place in those areas, obviously with certain controls.”



1875 views

Related news

No matching news for this article

comment Comments (0 posted) 

More Top News
News
Conservation and Political News
Opinion
Most Popular
Most Commented