British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee
12th July 2007
The Freshwater Sub Committee of the BRFC met on 6th July 2007. In attendance were Ken Ball (Chairman and National Federation of Anglers), Nigel Hewlett (Environment Agency, Scientific Advisor ) , Ian Epps (National Federation of Anglers), Mike Heylin (Specialist Anglers Alliance), Andy Nellist (Specialist Anglers Alliance) & Dr Bernd Hänfling (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Hull).
1. Claims accepted
The following claims were accepted by the committee and will be recommended for ratification at the next full meeting of the BRFC:
Species Verified Weight Captor Location Previous Record
Chub 9lb 3oz Steve White Southern Stillwater 9lb 2oz
Chub 9lb 5oz Andy Maker Southern Stillwater 9lb 3oz
2. DNA Testing
The committee is extremely grateful to Dr Bernd Hänfling who attended the meeting to provide expert help and guidance as to how DNA testing could be used to provide an accurate way of identifying Crucian Carp.
Dr Hänfling gave an extremely useful presentation to the committee which covered the background, methods and accuracy of genetic testing. The committee learned that DNA testing could detect 100% of f1 hybrids and that with the identification by Dr Hänfling and his team of 12 microsatellite markers that distinguished between Crucians, Goldfish and Carp detection of post f1 hybrids would be far more likely than by examination of external characteristics via photographs.
In the subsequent discussions with Dr Hänfling the committee agreed that DNA testing was indeed an accurate and practical way to confirm the identity of Crucian Carp and that the committee should move towards its use as soon as it was practical to do so.
The committee currently has no choice but to reject many claims for Crucian Carp when photographic evidence proves inconclusive. The committee believes that the introduction of DNA testing will lead to an increased chance of claims being accepted.
The committee will continue to work with Dr Hänfling to determine how samples can best be collected and preserved.
3. Review of Species
The committee reviewed the current list of freshwater species for which records are maintained. In particular the committee considered the removal of alien and ornamental species. The committee will be making recommendations at the next BRFC meeting for the deletion of several records from the list.
4. Suspension of the Record for Wels Catfish (Silurus glanis)
With catfish well in excess of the largest UK born catfish still being offered for sale the committee agreed that the record should remain suspended.
5. Stillwater and Running Water Records
The committee addressed the possibility of establishing separate Stillwater and Running water records for Roach and Chub. The committee agreed that the establishment of separate lists would not be a positive move having noted the following:
5.1 both records had until recently been held by river fish;
5.2 the margin between the largest stillwater and the largest river fish remained low; and
5.3 there would be difficulty in defining what was and was not a stillwater fish and a running water fish (the present record chub was believed to have spent much of its life in a river).
The next full meeting of the BRFC is scheduled for October 2007.
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