BASS NEWS RELEASE
After years of urging the EU to adopt sensible conservation measures and being ignored, UK anglers are turning on Brussels in anger at ridiculous proposals to bureaucratise their sport and to criminalise anglers who fail to tell them what they have caught.
John Leballeur, the chairman of the Bass Restoration Team of the Bass Anglers’ Sport Fishing Society said “Over the years, members have spent much of both their own and the Society’s money on futile trips to meet with EU politicians and officials to press the case for measures to preserve our fish stocks so that there will be sport for future generations of anglers to enjoy, as well as ensuring robust fisheries that can support both recreational and sustainable commercial fisheries.
We have always been greeted warmly and had our proposals accepted with promises of follow up actions that have afterwards never seen the light of day.
Just as scientific evidence presented by ICES is discarded each year when the EU sets quotas for how many fish can be taken from the sea, leading inevitably to fewer fish, and those that remain becoming smaller, year upon year.
And now we have these entirely inappropriate proposals to regulate Recreational Sea Angling contained in ‘Article 47’.
Not only do these measures, if implemented, have the potential for destroying many businesses and livelihoods in the UK economy, they come as an ultimate insult to the Recreational Sea Angling sector which is widely acknowledged as having a minimal impact on fish stocks, and which has been at the forefront of calling for meaningful conservation measures where these can make a real difference.
The catch of anglers is insignificant when compared to the amount of fish dumped over the side by fishing vessels. It’s like trying to change the washer on a tap, when the mains pipe has burst and is flooding the house.
“Stop telling us what you are going to do to us, and start truly listening to us” is the message that BASS is sending to Brussels.