|Following a major campaign by Anglers last year for a rise in the size limit of sea bass caught by commercial fishermen, the ministry initially agreed to the move but have recently back-pedalled following further submissions by the National Fedaration of Fishermens` Organisation on fishermen`s behalf.
Local hand-line fishermen operate out of Newlyn, Mousehole, Penberth, Sennen Cove and St Ives catching sea bass with hook and line in a traditional and sustainable fishery - not to be confused with a couple of Newlyn and St Ives boats working nets for bass which is not traditional and has, at times, resulted in seabirds being killed.
The traditional fishery stands to be hit very hard by an increase in bass landing size.
It is understood that the increase would not apply to anglers ! ... and it should also be recognised that a lot of
`anglers` actually illegally sell their catch direct to hotels etc - which is probably why there are lots of lights on most local beaches in the middle of the night in autumn !
Another complete mockery is that, should this legislation be introduced, it would only apply to UK vessels, so the French and others would continue to plunder all sizes of sea bass right up to our 6 mile limit - and our revered fish buyers would seek their favourite size bass from the French instead of local boats.
Fishermen, like anglers, are in general keen to support conservation measures which can be shown to be both required and effective - sadly this misguided campaign meets neither criteria.
Fishermen and Anglers have generally existed very happily together in the past and maybe it is time for reasonable anglers to question the wisdom of those who claim to represent them
in this issue.
Radio Cornwall news item