EU sets new minimum landing size for seabass

Published on
July 2, 2015

In another step to protect seabass (Dicentrarchus labrax) stocks in Europe, fishermen will only be allowed to catch fish of 42cm and above after the 28 EU member states agreed to a new proposal from the European Commission to increase the minimum landing size for northern seabass.

The new rule applies to both commercial and recreational fishermen. Previously, the minimum landing size for bass was 36cm.

The Commission had also proposed to increase the minimum size for the two southern stocks of seabass in Iberian waters and the Bay of Biscay, but member states pointed to the less robust data available on these stocks. Therefore, the Commission has now asked for renewed scientific advice on the southern stocks, which will feed into new proposals on bass from 2016 onwards.

Seabass is a high-value species for recreational and commercial fishermen. However, scientific advice has identified the need to drastically reduce the catch because of an increase in the fishing pressure and a drop in recruitment.

This decision is the latest step in a package of measures that the Commission has proposed for 2015 to halt the decline of bass stocks and prepare the way forward for further management measures in 2016.

Last month, a new commercial fishery management plan was introduced allowing EU fishing boats to only catch between one and three metric tons (MT) of bass per month depending on the size of the vessel and fishing method. It also closed an area around Ireland for commercial bass fishing for all EU vessels.

Contributing Editor reporting from London, UK

Want seafood news sent to your inbox?

You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time. Diversified Communications | 121 Free Street, Portland, ME 04101 | +1 207-842-5500