Isle of Wight Angling Trust Marine Region

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TOPIC: MP requested to support RSA in commons debate

MP requested to support RSA in commons debate 3 years 9 months ago #1

  • repone
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Many thanks to those of you who responded to the request below.
The debate has now been held.
We were informed that Andrew Turner MP was chairing another meeting on the afternoon of the debate.
A transcript of the debate can be found via this link:

Parliamentary debate Bass


8-2-16 : YOUR URGENT ACTION REQUIRED
I feel sure that most, if not all, of you share a common disgust with the way the EU has unfairly treated us anglers with their latest restrictions on Bass captures.

The Angling Trust together with Bass Anglers Sport fishing Society (BASS) has campaigned tirelessly for fair & equitable treatment of anglers but the commercial sector has been far more supported by its members to the extent that, once again, their voices have carried far more weight in the minds of politicians.

You can sit back & do nothing other than complain, in the mistaken belief that others will succeed in fighting the cause for you or, if you have not done so already, you can start helping the cause by making your voice heard.

Your help urgently needed - urge our MP Andrew Turner to speak up for bass and recreational sea anglers at a Commons debate on 11th Feb 2016

Last week, North Cornwall MP and keen angler Scott Mann successfully secured a three-hour backbench debate in the House of Commons to highlight the unfairness of the current measures on recreational sea anglers.



IW Anglers are asked to email the letter set out below to our MP, Andrew Turner, which includes a link to the ATs latest Fishing Lines briefing on bass.

Just highlight the text of the letter below & copy it into a blank email, add your details to the end & send to Andrew Turner. His email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The letter urges him to turn up for the Commons debate at 2.15pm on Thursday, February 11th to support Scott and speak up for angling.

The debate is entitled 'Conservation of sea bass…’ and Scott will be moving the following motion: "This House believes that the recent EU restrictions on recreational bass fishing are unfair and fail to address the real threat to the future viability of UK bass stocks.”



The Angling Trust and BASS will be supporting Scott in his efforts to highlight the need to create a sustainable recreational bass fishery delivering maximum economic benefit to coastal communities.

Please do all you can to get your MP to help.



Please note that this is based on a section of the latest e-news bulletin from the Angling Trust

Your assistance would be much appreciated.

Text of letter to be copied:-



Dear Andrew Turner MP
Please speak up for sea bass in Parliament on February 11th - we need your help.
You are probably aware that there are an estimated three million people in the UK who enjoy recreational fishing but you might not know that the Sea Angling 2012 study commissioned by the government concluded that recreational sea angling alone was directly responsible for 10,400 jobs and some £1.23 billion in economic benefit. By far the most popular fish for sea anglers is the bass, the numbers of which have declined to near unsustainable levels as a result of more than 20 years of commercial overfishing. The government has quoted sea bass as having a recreational value of £200m to the economy, vastly more than the first sale value of all commercial bass landings.
Scientific advice issued by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) in June 2014 recommended an 80% cut in bass mortality across the EU area for 2015. This followed the 2013 advice for a 36% cut which was ignored. In 2014 bass landings by UK vessels actually rose by 30% (from 772 tonnes to 1,004 tonnes).
The UK secured some success in leading on the EU-wide introduction of the 2015 package of emergency measures to protect bass stocks with a ban on offshore pelagic trawling. However, the situation has continued to deteriorate. ICES advice for 2016 recommended catches of no more than 541 tonnes - effectively a 90% reduction on 2014. The 2015 measures are estimated to have reduced catches by only 36% and the European Commission accepted that they simply didn't go far enough. As anglers we were braced for further changes.
The original proposals from the Commission for 2016 included a complete bass fishing ban for commercial vessels and recreational anglers in the first half of 2016 and in the second half of 2016 a monthly one tonne catch limit for vessels targeting sea bass and a one fish per day bag limit for recreational anglers down from no limit in 2014 and a three fish limit last year.
Anglers were angered when EU Fisheries Ministers caved in to pressure from commercial fishing interests and granted four month exemptions to commercial hook and line and the highly damaging bass fixed gill net fishery – responsible for 50% of landings – wrongly referred to as “low impact”. Worse still the monthly vessel catch limits for the commercials were actually increased to 1.3 tonnes at the same time as anglers faced draconian restrictions.
Thousands of anglers are now at risk of criminalisation if they try to keep the self-same bass that a netsman is free to kill during the moratorium.
As recreational anglers, we were prepared to play our part in what we expected to be a fair, effective and proportionate package of measures that would help rebuild bass stocks but instead we have been singled out for over regulation while the commercial nets will continue to take vast quantities of fish, much of which is unrecorded.
The current situation cannot endure. The recreational bag limits are grossly unfair, they make a mockery of the law and fail to acknowledge that recreational sea angling is the most sustainable form of bass fishing which delivers the best economic return.
On Thursday, February 11th at 2.15pm, North Cornwall MP Scott Mann will be leading a three hour backbench debate in the House of Commons to highlight the unfairness of the current measures on recreational sea anglers. The debate is entitled: "Conservation of sea bass and the effect of related EU measures on the UK recreational fishing industry.”
Scott will be moving the following motion:
“That this House believes that the recent EU restrictions on recreational sea bass fishing are unfair and fail to address the real threat to the future viability of UK sea bass stocks; and calls on the Government to make representations within the Council of the EU on the reconsideration of the imposition of those restrictions.”
As my MP I'm asking if you would please attend this important parliamentary debate to speak in support of introducing revised measures that reduce bass mortality by restricting rather than increasing harmful commercial harvesting methods such as gill netting and instead promote sustainable methods such as hook & line fishing for both the commercial and recreational sectors.
The Angling Trust have produced this helpful briefing which you can find here: ow.ly/XWzUD
I would be most grateful for your support on this issue and look forward to hearing from you.
Best Wishes
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Last Edit: 3 years 9 months ago by repone. Reason: debate now held
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