At the recent meeting of the BRFC chaired by Mr Ken Ball, and attended by Ian Epps, National Federation of Anglers; Chris Clark, National Federation of Sea Anglers, Oliver Crimmen of the Natural History Museum, Scientific Advisor to the BRFC, the Secretary David Rowe, Apologies had been received from Nigel Hewlett Environment Agency, Marsh Pratley and Phil Smith: Specialists Anglers Alliance.
The current claims were considered and the committee having satisfied itself that all the procedures had been met in respect to identification, witnesses to capture, weighing and the accuracy of scales used to weigh the fish, the following records were ratified and decisions made.
Species Weight Captor Date Caught & Location Previous Record.
Coarse Fish 9lbs 2ozs Mr Matthew 10-Oct-06 8lbs 14ozs
Chub (4.139kg) Micallef
Sea Fish – Boat 4lbs 9ozs Mr Mark 13-Nov-05 4lbs 6oz 8drms
Dogfish Lesser Spotted (2.069kg) Donnelly Boat off Fleetwood
Sea Fish – Boat 39lbs 10zs 2drms Mr Steven 30-Apr-06 38 lbs 9oz
Ray Blonde (17.977kg) Underwood Boat off Brixham
Sea Fish – Boat 4lbs 6ozs Mr Malcolm 18-Oct-05 4 lbs 2oz 8drms
Sole (1.984kg) Le Moignan Off Lepe beach,
Sea Fish – Boat 15lbs 12ozs Mr Howard 05-Mar-05 15lbs 7ozs 2drms
Torsk 11drms Foster Off Mowsa, Shetland
(Brosme brosme) (7.163kg)
Sea Fish – Shore 2lbs 15ozs 1drm Lynton 04-Aug-06 2lbs 6ozs 9drms
Sea Fish – Shore 66lbs Mr K 06-Nov-06 58lbs 2ozs
Tope (29.937 kg) Legge Lynmouth,
Sea Fish – Mini Species 3 grams Mr
Sea Fish – Mini Species 3ozs 10drms Mr R 06-Oct-05 3ozs 8drms (100g)
Wrasse – Goldsinney (102grams) Prosser
In respect of these decisions the following should be noted:-
1/ Chub Record Claim:- The committee were made aware that there had been some speculation and statements made in the press about the weight of a fish caught in a stillwater and claimed by Mr Mark Micallef as a new coarse fish record for the Chub claimed at 9lb 4oz.
The committee on investigation had been advised that it was impossible to calculate the weight of a fish from photographs, although there were various scientific data and programmes for estimating the weight of a species, it would not be possible to make an accurate prediction. In addition it was recognised on advice that a fish caught in a stillwater will be a different shape to that caught in running water, the muscles would have developed differently.
The committee, after careful consideration unanimously agreed that all the procedures in respect of Identification by the Scientific Adviser, the accuracy of the scales, the witness to capture and weighing had all been faithfully observed therefore the record was ratified.
It should be noted that although it was an unanimous decision of all the members at the meeting, two members who were aware of the evidence, had expressed concerns which had been recorded in the angling press, but the committee had to consider the claim on the evidence produced and this met the criteria as laid down in the procedures developed over almost 50 years.
2/ The decision on a claim by Mr P Kingsbury for a new coarse fish record for the Grass Carp for a fish weighing 44lbs 13oz 12drms caught at Horton Church Lake was deferred pending the examination of the evidence by the BRFC Freshwater Group. This claim would be progressed as soon as possible.
3/ DNA Testing:- The members received an update on the investigations in respect of using DNA as a method of identifying certain species and were very positive about the value that DNA testing could add to the validity of coarse fish records. The report of the investigations was awaiting completion and the Freshwater Group would meet again as soon as the results were available.
The Committee is scheduled to meet again in March, depending on the completed claims received.