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RSA Strategy Sub Group Minutes 12 Aug 08

Nov 11,2008 SACN

Inshore Fisheries Working Group"

Recreational Sea Angling Sub-group Meeting

Tuesday 12 August 11am

Room LG01 Ergon House, London

Aim of meeting

· To consider bass nursery area questionnaire, RSA strategy consultation summary, finalise various scientific reports from Cefas and agree way forward.


Alison Aitken (MFA)

Anthony Hynes (Defra)

Rebecca Dominey (Defra)

David Rowe (NFSA)

John Leballeur (BASS)

Leon Roskilly (SACN)

Mike Smith (Cefas)

Robert Blyth-Skyrme (NE)

Steve Colclough (EA)

Tim Dapling (Sussex Sea Fisheries Committee)

Matt Mander (Eastern Sea Fisheries Joint Committee)


Dave Rigden (The National Mullet Club)

Richard Ferre (NFSA)

Alexis Raichoudhury (Defra)

Alistair McDonnell (MFA)

1. Introductions and apologies.

2. To agree mnutes of previous meeting on 30 May (including consideration of comments received) and matters arising.


a. Review Bass Nursery Areas

Revised first para agreed as follows:

"Cefas provided a historical review of bass around the UK, which indicated that the geographical distribution of bass has expanded and is likely to continue to do so, and that recruitment was strong through the 1990s and early 2000s. These benefits were considered to be in response to warming winter water temperatures and increased protection for bass provided by the bass conservation (nursery) areas. However, some recent pre-recruit surveys suggest that recruitment has declined from the high 1990 levels in some areas of the UK south coast"

Actions/Matter Arising

b. RSA Strategy

An email was sent to Sean O?Driscoll to invite a tackle industry representative to the next RSA meeting. As yet no reply has been received. It was suggested that Bruno Broughton also be contacted.

c. Fisheries Challenge Fund Project

The Phase 1 report has been completed and is currently with Defra for consideration before publication.

d. Technical Conservation Regulations

A review of the EU technical conservation regulations was underway. Negotiations will start in the autumn. In response to a Defra consultation on the proposals, the NFSA have commented on the paper and are happy to circulate.

It was noted that it was the intention of the Commission that the new regulations applied to recreational activity. It was agreed that there needs to be a better definition of the term recreational activity and a clearer explanation of how the regulations would apply to this activity.

The proposed regulations ban spear fishing completely. British Spear fishermen are currently lobbying on this point.

Action (Defra) " 1. More substantive discussion at next meeting with Defra lead invited to attend

2. Recirculate link to Cefas report on recreational fishing across the European Community


3. Review of Bass Nursery Areas

Defra had circulated a draft questionnaire to the group for their views. The group suggested the following changes;

· a more detailed description of the legislation applicable within Bass Nursery should be added to the beginning of the document

· a better description of the Fisheries Challenge Fund in the covering letter

· add key reasons to the review

· explain why further protection is needed

· include netting issues (definition of fixed engines, mesh sizes)

· More explicit reference to bag limits

It was agreed that one month would be sufficient for SFCs and others to compile and submit questionnaire responses (i.e. by end of September). .

Action (all) " Further amendments and suggestions to the draft questionnaire requested by 22 August.

4. Spatial Control on Netting

The paper was discussed in detail at the last meeting. EA and Cefas had also considered further subsequent to the meeting. The paper had been revised to incorporate EA comments.

The group was reminded of ministerial commitments to a review of inshore netting.

It was considered that reformed IFCAs would be in a better position to reflect on the report's finding and consider new byelaws once new powers to manage on socio-economic grounds were available. In advance of that, it was considered unlikely that any major changes would take place.

In the meantime, it was agreed that the scope of the paper should be extended to cover drift nets.

It was highlighted that a pamphlet containing definitions for all netting material is available (Circulated following the meeting via email by SACN).


http://www.marlab.ac.uk/FRS.Web/Uploads/Documents/Fishing Gear.pdf

Action " EA/Cefas to discuss and agree timing for revisions to the report to cover drift netting restrictions. Further discussions at next meeting.

5. Review of Mullet Fisheries

Cefas provided a response to the NMC and circulated a revised copy of the review of Mullet fisheries. An email from the NMC was circulated to the group concerning the revised report.

It was noted that Mullet fisheries are a key part of the nursery areas review and the revised report should therefore be attached as an annex to the questionnaire.

The EA are able to provide information regarding juvenile mullet. Cefas are able to set up log books for Mullet catches, although it is too late to implement funding for this year but it could be up and running for next year.

Action (Sussex SFC) " Further comments to Cefas.

Action (Defra) " Annex to Bass paper and publish.

6. RSA Strategy

Defra would like to publish the summary of responses to the strategy as soon as possible. Although there has been a lack of explicit support for the strategy, the value of a framework for RSA work was discussed.

The group highlighted the following points in relation to the strategy;

· RSA sector no longer believe Defra can deliver anything of benefit, in view of bass MLS decision

· Licensing issue had clouded consideration of the strategy

· Communications with wider group of anglers a key issue

·  Defra still viewed as doing more to help commercial fishing

· More emphasis on IFCA?s for inshore conservation management

· Less emphasis on facilities, access and code of conduct

· Improve drafting for „public consumption?

· Ministerial foreword

Action (Defra) " 1. Further comments invited by 22 August, summary then to be published.

2. Defra to re-draft the strategy for debate at the next meeting.

7. Agree next date of meeting

1st/2nd week of October, date and location to be confirmed, subject to timing of next IFWG.  (delayed until mid_November)


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