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Tories Back Recreational Sea Anglers

Sep 13,2007 SACN


The Conservative Party has produced a report outlining its intended direction on 'Quality of Life Issues'

Some of the contents will be of interest to the Recreational Sea Angling Community.

On Marine Protected Areas (Published in The Telegraph):

"....Some would allow recreational fishing and tourism as long as they posed no threat to the environment and a third category of protected area would allow fishing but only by small boats using selective techniques.

Commercial fishing would be allowed in some areas subject to tight controls. But large areas closed to fishing could be used as a way of protecting endangered fish stocks.

The report proposes that the 1m recreational fishermen, who mostly fish within three miles of the shore, should have a greater say in the management of fish stocks. At present marine policy is dominated by the demands of 12,500 commercial fishermen."
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Highlights:
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"4.21.6. Sea angling

Some of the interests that could actually lead to a way out of the crisis we are facing have actually been excluded from the table in the councils of the European Union, the most significant, perhaps, being recreational sea anglers.

With around 1.1 million households in the UK having at least one member who goes sea angling, compared to around 12,500 involved in commercial fishing, this is a knowledgeable group which deserves to be heard.

It is part of the political crisis we face that at present the views of those who use the sea for leisure are seldom included in the debate.

There is a compelling argument provided by the example of the resurgent American striped bass that managing some fish stocks primarily for recreational purposes could have major economic and social benefits."

"4.24.5.3. Recreational sea angling

Anglers represent a large group, with around 1.1 million households in England and Wales alone having at least one member who goes sea angling.

The interests of this community need to be addressed alongside the interests of the 12,500 commercial fishermen, which are currently not in the counsels of the EU.

The economic value of sea angling in England and Wales has been calculated by Defra at £538 million.

This is hugely greater than the value of the fish caught and hugely greater than the value of the commercial landings of the species on which anglers depend.

There is therefore a strong argument that sea angling can provide a better return than commercial exploitation when it comes to some stocks, such as the bass.

And a glance across the Atlantic at the resurgent striped bass, once in decline, shows the potential that exists for growth in the use of this resource, if it were managed wisely.

The annual revenues from striped bass for sport fishing are estimated at $2 billion a year in the United States.

With larger fish, achieved by stipulating larger mesh sizes for commercial nets, some of these benefits could be achieved here too.

There are considerable commercial opportunities arising from recreational fishing.

Thought should be given to making some species largely or wholly recreational."

Some of the interests that could actually lead to a way out of the crisis we are facing have actually been excluded from the table in the councils of the European Union, the most significant, perhaps, being recreational sea anglers.

With around 1.1 million households in the UK having at least one member who goes sea angling, compared to around 12,500 involved in commercial fishing, this is a knowledgeable group which deserves to be heard.

It is part of the political crisis we face that at present the views of those who use the sea for leisure are seldom included in the debate.

There is a compelling argument provided by the example of the resurgent American striped bass that managing some fish stocks primarily for recreational purposes could have major economic and social benefits."



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