The Angling Trust is proud to welcome the historic announcement this week that trawling for bass during the spawning period has finally been banned as part of emergency measures aimed at averting a total collapse of Europe’s bass stocks.

The ban on pelagic trawling – which accounts for 25 per cent of the impact on the stock and includes the controversial method of pair trawling – will begin immediately in the Channel, Celtic Sea, Irish Sea and Southern North Sea and run until April 30th during which time adult bass aggregate to reproduce and are most vulnerable.

The EU is developing proposals to deal with the impact on bass stocks of recreational and other commercial fishing methods. For recreational bass angling the proposals include a three fish a day bag limit and an increase in the legal minimum size of bass from 36cm to 42cm. Ultimately these emergency measures will be replaced by a long term management plan. The Angling Trust will be taking a leading role in influencing the outcome.

The Angling Trust, its predecessor organisations, and our partners at the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S.) have been campaigning tirelessly for the introduction of conservation measures for bass for many years. In 2012, the Angling Trust organised a delegation to the then Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon to press the case for bass conservation measures in the face of evidence demonstrating that stocks were in trouble.

Hundreds of Angling Trust and B.A.S.S. members responded to the call to write to their MPs and the European Commission to press for EU action to protect bass stocks from collapse.  

We enjoyed tremendous support from a fantastic group of cross-party MPs including: George Hollingbery, Jon Cruddas, Charles Walker, Ben Bradshaw, Simon Hart and Richard Benyon.

Rest assured, here in the UK the Angling Trust will be pressing our government to take additional domestic measures to restore the UK bass fishery to good health.

Britain’s best known bass angler, photographer and writer Henry Gilbey enthusiastically endorsed the Angling Trust campaign writing on his blog today: 

“I am absolutely over the moon that something good is finally happening, and I can but hope that UK saltwater anglers get right behind this.  Join the Angling Trust, join BASS, get better informed, get involved, because hell bloody fire, if there is one thing that all this proves – it is that we can make a difference.”

Please help us to be even stronger in our fight for fish and fishing by encouraging your friends to join the Angling Trust & Fish Legal today : Forward this message to a friend

The EU Commission has produced a guide to the measures which can be downloaded HERE

Lots more information on our bass campaign can be found on our website HERE.