Anglers want EU to bag bass limit


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
November 13, 2014

Recreational fishermen are speaking out against a new proposal by the European Commission to put a bag limit on sea bass.

If passed, the bag limit would be a first for the EU. The limit is part of a new series of measures looking toward helping certain fish stocks in 2015, measures based heavily on recommendations in June from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). Under the proposed new rule, anglers would not be able to bag more than one sea bass per person per day. That didn’t sit well with the European Anglers Alliance, which released a position paper arguing point-by-point why the bag limit was a bad idea. They argued that curbing commercial sea bass fishing, not recreational, would have a greater impact on stocks.

“Whilst we agree that there is a need to adopt suitable emergency measures now in order to reduce fishing mortality in line with the June 2014 ICES advice, a bag limit should not be one of them,” the alliance wrote.

The protests are gaining ground in regional areas. In the U.K., a website implores, “Don’t let the EU off the hook,” and accuses the commission of ignoring science.

In France, an online petition urges visitors to say no to the proposal as well, saying the bag limit doesn’t take into account fishing conditions such as weather and currents, which often force harpoon fishers into taking more fish on some days and none at all on others.

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