Bass Anglers Urged to Flood EU Commissioner with Emails Supporting Emergency Measures to Save Stocks

The Angling Trust has begun the New Year battling for bass with a fresh call to anglers urging them to flood the EU Commissioner with emails supporting the call by the UK for emergency measures to save threatened bass stocks.

In December the UK government called on the EU Commission to implement emergency measures to try and prevent a collapse in bass stocks following the failure of the recent Fisheries Council meeting to reach an agreement on any bass conservation measures whatsoever. The Commission has the power, in exceptional circumstances, to introduce emergency measures for a six month period only should the EU Member States be unable to reach agreement.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd has written on behalf of the Trust to Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella saying:

“There is no doubt that given the parlous state of bass stocks emergency measures are now the right thing to do. As the national representative body for angling in England we urge you, most strongly, to use the emergency measures open to the Commission, through Article 12 of the CFP regulation (1380/2013), to close Area VIIe, to all targeted trawling for bass from 1st January 2015 until 1st May, 2015 in order to reduce fishing pressure on this year’s spawning aggregations….

Furthermore, ahead of the implementation of minimum conservation reference sizes, we urge you to increase a minimum legal size to be above the 42cm breeding size so any new adult entrants to the stocks do at least get a chance to breed and replace themselves before they can be legitimately harvested. We would also like to see a complete phasing out of destructive pair trawling for bass and a move to creating a sustainable line caught only fishery.”

Other EU Member states had to submit comments about the UK proposal by January 6th and a decision on whether to adopt these measures with immediate effect is expected from the Commission sometime after January 14th.

Angling Trust Campaign Coordinator Martin Salter added:

“Time is running out for bass stocks. Whilst politicians dither and dally the pair trawlers are busy at work hoovering up what is left of the spawning stocks of bass right now. In the face of scientific advice stating a need for an 80% reduction in bass catches to avoid a stock collapse the deliberate targeting of this winter’s spawning aggregations has to be stopped by any means possible.”

In a mail out to members the Angling Trust says:

It is vital that we show strong support for these emergency measures and we are asking Angling Trust members to email the Commissioner, Karmenu Vella, with a short message of support. Feel free to cut and paste some of the Angling Trust letter into your own emails. We need your help to save our bass. Please get typing today!