THE British government decision that it will ban pair trawling for bass to stop the abhorrent slaughter of hundreds of dolphins caught in the nets, will also be a major step towards allowing only rod-and-line fishermen, both commercial and recreational, to catch bass.


“This has been the aim of recreational sea anglers for more than 30 years,” said Mr. Ted Tuckerman, chairman of the National Federation of Sea Anglers.


Pair trawling is a method for the mass catching of shoals of spawning bass off south west England.  Two boats stretch a net a mile wide between them scooping up the fish, killing the dolphins feeding on them, and decimating the shoals.


Paying tribute to many years of work by BASS (Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society) Mr. Tuckerman said: “We have campaigned together to convince the government that bass fishing is worth much more to the national economy if it is reserved for anglers.


“We are determined to achieve this together and the expertise which BASS brings to the table is invaluable.  This pair trawling ban is a substantial advance towards our goal.”


The government can ban pair trawling only within 12 miles of the coastline and force British trawlers operating up to 200 miles offshore to have a licence.


“The 12 mile limit will give a measure of protection for the bass which we want to see grow into large fish which spawn several times before anglers are allowed to take them,” said David Rowe, development officer of the NFSA.


“It is a good start and we will be urging and supporting the minister in his efforts to get our European neighbours to ban pair trawling as well.”