After more than a decade campaigning on bass, the Angling Trust remain committed to delivering a bass fishery management plan that prioritises the sustainable rebuilding of the bass stock, maximises the benefits derived from the stock to coastal communities through equitable allocation of the bass quota and transitions the bass fishery away from environmentally damaging practices with stronger enforcement of regulations.

The value of recreational angling has long been under appreciated by government. Through our newfound position as a recognised stakeholder under the Fisheries Act (2020) and the opportunity presented by fishery management plans, the Angling Trust are working hard on behalf of recreational sea angling to make this shared vision a reality.

At the Angling Trust, we’re campaigning for a bass fishery management plan that:

  • Puts coastal communities first and delivers equitable access to the bass fishery in line with the benefits stakeholders generate.
  • Ditches MSY long-term with commitments to explore alternative harvest strategies, like MEY, and sets catch limits within 95% confidence limits of scientific advice in the interim.
  • Phases out harmful fishing methods like inshore netting and trawling.
  • Minimises discards and reduces bass bycatch.
  • Delivers more protection for bass nursery areas and invests into habitat restoration.
  • Provides an equal voice at the table and balanced representation through advisory groups.
  • Mitigates against climate change and outlines adaptive management for the bass fishery.

We need anglers like you to respond to the consultation and support the positive aspects of the bass fishery management plan while pushing back on the less ambitious parts. The more anglers, skippers, clubs, guides, tackle shops and trade businesses who respond to this consultation, the louder our voice.

The supporting consultation documents are extensive: Consultation documentSeabass FMPFMP annexesEnvironmental report and impact assessment. The Angling Trust will shortly publish an advice sheet for anglers to highlight the key areas of importance to our sport and for anglers who wish to respond to the consultation. We will publish our consultation response in due course.

We’d like to thank all anglers who gave their time to the Policy Lab stakeholder engagement programme through the lived experience interviews, collective intelligence debate and co-design workshops in 2022. Angling voices matter and there has never been a more important time for our community to be heard.

Monday 17th July the bass fishery management plan consultation has opened for 12-weeks. The consultation closes on 1st October 2023. As the Angling Trust understand it, there will be two opportunities to respond: online consultation via Citizen Space, and in-person via a Defra roadshow (details still to be announced). You can view the consultation here.