The Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network

            A charity registered in Scotland - RegNo:: SC039015


Defra appeasement and Everyone loses

Cornish inshore commercial fishermen have finally admitted that bass stocks in Cornwall are over-fished.

In the Jan 18 edition of Fishing News, skipper David Bond of Looe explained that the lack of available quota for species such as cod and sole has forced the inshore fleet to increase the pressure on non quota species like bass using gill nets.

He states: “We have tens of small boats from Mevagissey almost literally crying out after being forced to fish for bass when there’s already too much pressure on that fishery..”

Defra were to have introduced a range of measures to better protect bass stocks, including increasing the minimum landing size to allow all female bass to spawn before capture.

This measure was turned down, not on biological grounds, but because of lobbying from one element of the commercial sector and because Defra were afraid to grasp the nettle regarding the minimum landing size increase.

Defra have created a situation in which neither recreational nor commercial bass fishermen benefits, and the biggest losers, as always, are the fish stocks and the environment - it is a recipe for total disaster, a mismanagement of a public resource and a blatant acceptance of an unsustainable situation.

An approach one would hate to see taken in Scotland, especially as our government now claims to be a leader in fish conservation.

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