2015 Environment Issues

 

 

 

Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers  

NEC 10 January 2015

Environment & Conservation Report

Bass
Well what can we say?
I went to a BASS meeting, got all fired up, reported back to October NEC, then tried to get Welsh anglers to lobby MPs, AMs and EuroMPs ahead of the Common Fishery Policy meetings leading up to the Council of Ministers in December.

I had responses from two of the four Euro MPs for Wales: Derek Vaughan (Lab) was interested in our briefing paper and said he'd do what he could; Dr Kay Swinburne (Con) said she'd like to arrange to meet John O'C and me in the New Year; no response at all from the other two (PC and UKIP).

I met and briefed my Ceredigion MP (Mark Williams LibDem) and AM (Elin Jones PC).

Lots of parliamentary activity as a result of BASS and Angling Trust, no indication from WG of what the Minster in Wales wanted to happen, in the end he didn't go to the meeting and no one will tell us what he would have done or what he asked UK Minister to do.  Next week is IFG meetings so hope he will have told his civil servants something by then.

You know that the Council of Ministers didn't even talk about bass, and ignored most of the scientific advice about other stocks.  Since then there have been lots of position statements from Netherlands Sea Anglers, from French commercials and anglers, and eventually UK has asked for emergency measures to stop fishing of spawning aggregations this year.  We wait to see what will happen.

 

Meeting with Dr Leanne Llewellyn, Welsh Government Scientist
We had a comparatively well attended meeting (28 November) with Dr Llewellyn in Merthyr (thanks to Tony Rees for arranging venue and refreshments and for picking uo the bill for the room).
We had wide ranging discussions and exchange of views.

We agreed to leave the proposed meeting in the north until 2015.  I am proposing that we discuss this today, with a view to asking her to the next NEC or a special NEC in Aberystwyth rather than another meeting.

WG have awarded a contract to Bangor University School of Ocean Studies to do their high level recreational study.  Professor Kaiser who runs that school has emailed me and would like or support an input.

 

Give Fish a Chance
As agreed after the October meeting, I met again with Steve Bastiman and David Mitchell (Scotland and England, respectively) to finalise the fish take sizes that allow us to say the fish have bred before being taken.

I am in the process of converting our record sizes from weights to lengths and will have some of them for you to look at in the meeting.

I propose then to discuss these first with Richard then everyone else so that we can consider introducing lengths for both record and specimen claims them, requiring perhaps approval at the NEC.  But as there are issues regarding rod caught records and weights over the centuries, we may use them as a promotion of conservation based angling.  There are in any case some inconsistencies in our specimen sizes as % of our record sizes, that should be sorted out.

 

Where to Fish in Wales
I have a list of beaches on a spreadsheet and need to discuss with you the best format 1) for you to add information and then 2) to display on WFSA website. 

I'm a bit technologically stretched in regard to what platform to build on but will take guidance after we've discussed where it's at at present, to make it as simple as possible to get useful information.

I am keen to keep this in a local authority sort of order as think we may get some responses from such as Ceredigion CC who like to promote sea angling to tourists.

 

Elasmobranch Evidence Group
There will be the first proper meeting of this informal advisory group on 27 January.  Members are Natural Resources Wales, Seafish, Welsh Fishermen's Association, Welsh Government and ourselves (currently me, but happy for anyone else to go).

The idea behind this group is to try to link legislation that affects elasmobranchs to evidence and data and to identify need for data gathering, and how it should be done. (Lots of initiatives on tagging programmes need to feed into fishery management approaches; need to ensure maximum live returns in the no discard regimes).

 

Wales Marine Strategic Advisory Group 
I went to the second meeting of this group, in Cardiff 24 November. I will put their communication from the meeting on the web site.

Briefly the topics were:

Marine Planning, The Well-being and Future Generations bill and the Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Welsh National Marine Plan.

The Welsh National Marine Plan will put in place an efficient process to identify opportunities for sustainable development in the marine environment. The plan will be developed in the context of the goals set out within the Well-being and Future Generations Bill and the Environment Bill.  It will ensure that the way we utilise and manage our seas takes a considered and evidence based approach that looks at the long term development and security of the natural resources that Wales has to offer.

At the meeting we committed to producing a narrative to illustrate the synergies between these different pieces of legislation. We are in the process of developing this and will share it with WMSAG in the New Year.

Skomer Marine Conservation Zone
On 12 December 2014 the waters around Skomer known as Skomer Marine Nature Reserve will become Skomer Marine Conservation Zone, the first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Wales.

Marine Strategy Framework Directive
We are now working on the third stage which is to develop a programme of measures that are designed to help us meet the aims of the directive.
The draft programme will be going out for UK-wide public consultation early in 2015.  This will be your opportunity to look at the measures we’re proposing and provide us with your comments.
We are currently developing our stakeholder approach in relation to the consultation and how you can get involved.
 

Marine Protected Areas: Options for network management
On the 24th November the MTP team committed to sharing the Scope Vision and Objectives of the MA management steering group with WMSAG members. Options for network management will be shared with us early in the new year.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communications
The Marine and Fisheries Division are currently developing their stakeholder approach. A Task and Finish group has been established to develop communication plans for the MTP projects and  to review the structure and content of the Marine and Fisheries  web pages.
At the meeting members of WMSAG offered to be involved with this work.  In response to this offer a workshop has been scheduled to take place on the 9th February  2015, in Penllergaer Swansea. During this workshop we will review the Stakeholder approach and Communication plan for the MTP and also examine the proposed structure and layout of the Marine and Fisheries web pages from a user perspective.
If you are interested in being involved with this project, please contact Zachary Shayler tel: 0300 062 2405 email: Zachary.Shayler@wales.gsi.gov.uk by 20th January 2015.

 

Roger Cook
Aberystwyth 8 January 2015

 

 


  


Bass
Well what can we say?
I went to a BASS meeting, got all fired up, reported back to October NEC, then tried to get Welsh anglers to lobby MPs, AMs and EuroMPs ahead of the Common Fishery Policy meetings leading up to the Council of Ministers in December.

I had responses from two of the four Euro MPs for Wales: Derek Vaughan (Lab) was interested in our briefing paper and said he'd do what he could; Dr Kay Swinburne (Con) said she'd like to arrange to meet John O'C and me in the New Year; no response at all from the other two (PC and UKIP).

I met and briefed my Ceredigion MP (Mark Williams LibDem) and AM (Elin Jones PC).

Lots of parliamentary activity as a result of BASS and Angling Trust, no indication from WG of what the Minster in Wales wanted to happen, in the end he didn't go to the meeting and no one will tell us what he would have done or what he asked UK Minister to do.  Next week is IFG meetings so hope he will have told his civil servants something by then.

You know that the Council of Ministers didn't even talk about bass, and ignored most of the scientific advice about other stocks.  Since then there have been lots of position statements from Netherlands Sea Anglers, from French commercials and anglers, and eventually UK has asked for emergency measures to stop fishing of spawning aggregations this year.  We wait to see what will happen.

 

Meeting with Dr Leanne Llewellyn, Welsh Government Scientist
We had a comparatively well attended meeting (28 November) with Dr Llewellyn in Merthyr (thanks to Tony Rees for arranging venue and refreshments and for picking uo the bill for the room).
We had wide ranging discussions and exchange of views.

We agreed to leave the proposed meeting in the north until 2015.  I am proposing that we discuss this today, with a view to asking her to the next NEC or a special NEC in Aberystwyth rather than another meeting.

WG have awarded a contract to Bangor University School of Ocean Studies to do their high level recreational study.  Professor Kaiser who runs that school has emailed me and would like or support an input.

 

Give Fish a Chance
As agreed after the October meeting, I met again with Steve Bastiman and David Mitchell (Scotland and England, respectively) to finalise the fish take sizes that allow us to say the fish have bred before being taken.

I am in the process of converting our record sizes from weights to lengths and will have some of them for you to look at in the meeting.

I propose then to discuss these first with Richard then everyone else so that we can consider introducing lengths for both record and specimen claims them, requiring perhaps approval at the NEC.  But as there are issues regarding rod caught records and weights over the centuries, we may use them as a promotion of conservation based angling.  There are in any case some inconsistencies in our specimen sizes as % of our record sizes, that should be sorted out.

 

Where to Fish in Wales
I have a list of beaches on a spreadsheet and need to discuss with you the best format 1) for you to add information and then 2) to display on WFSA website. 

I'm a bit technologically stretched in regard to what platform to build on but will take guidance after we've discussed where it's at at present, to make it as simple as possible to get useful information.

I am keen to keep this in a local authority sort of order as think we may get some responses from such as Ceredigion CC who like to promote sea angling to tourists.

 

Elasmobranch Evidence Group
There will be the first proper meeting of this informal advisory group on 27 January.  Members are Natural Resources Wales, Seafish, Welsh Fishermen's Association, Welsh Government and ourselves (currently me, but happy for anyone else to go).

The idea behind this group is to try to link legislation that affects elasmobranchs to evidence and data and to identify need for data gathering, and how it should be done. (Lots of initiatives on tagging programmes need to feed into fishery management approaches; need to ensure maximum live returns in the no discard regimes).

 

Wales Marine Strategic Advisory Group 
I went to the second meeting of this group, in Cardiff 24 November. I will put their communication from the meeting on the web site.

Briefly the topics were:

Marine Planning, The Well-being and Future Generations bill and the Natural Resource Management (NRM) and Welsh National Marine Plan.

The Welsh National Marine Plan will put in place an efficient process to identify opportunities for sustainable development in the marine environment. The plan will be developed in the context of the goals set out within the Well-being and Future Generations Bill and the Environment Bill.  It will ensure that the way we utilise and manage our seas takes a considered and evidence based approach that looks at the long term development and security of the natural resources that Wales has to offer.

At the meeting we committed to producing a narrative to illustrate the synergies between these different pieces of legislation. We are in the process of developing this and will share it with WMSAG in the New Year.

Skomer Marine Conservation Zone
On 12 December 2014 the waters around Skomer known as Skomer Marine Nature Reserve will become Skomer Marine Conservation Zone, the first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in Wales.

Marine Strategy Framework Directive
We are now working on the third stage which is to develop a programme of measures that are designed to help us meet the aims of the directive.
The draft programme will be going out for UK-wide public consultation early in 2015.  This will be your opportunity to look at the measures we’re proposing and provide us with your comments.
We are currently developing our stakeholder approach in relation to the consultation and how you can get involved. 

Marine Protected Areas: Options for network management
On the 24th November the MTP team committed to sharing the Scope Vision and Objectives of the MA management steering group with WMSAG members. Options for network management will be shared with us early in the new year.

Stakeholder Engagement and Communications
The Marine and Fisheries Division are currently developing their stakeholder approach. A Task and Finish group has been established to develop communication plans for the MTP projects and  to review the structure and content of the Marine and Fisheries  web pages.
At the meeting members of WMSAG offered to be involved with this work.  In response to this offer a workshop has been scheduled to take place on the 9th February  2015, in Penllergaer Swansea. During this workshop we will review the Stakeholder approach and Communication plan for the MTP and also examine the proposed structure and layout of the Marine and Fisheries web pages from a user perspective.
If you are interested in being involved with this project, please contact Zachary Shayler tel: 0300 062 2405 email: Zachary.Shayler@wales.gsi.gov.uk by 20th January 2015.

 

Roger Cook
Aberystwyth 8 January 2015