WELSH FEDERATION OF SEA ANGLERS Est 1955
Environment & Conservation.
Supported by SPORT WALES
Bass are in great danger October 2014.
It is likely that all of them will be caught in the next few years.
All sea anglers can help bass survive by taking the time to tell your locally elected politicians that you'd like them to respond to your concerns.
The following notes and links to detailed information have been prepared by the Welsh Federation of Sea Anglers.
There are lots of developing responses to the science advice - from Common Fishery Policy Advisory Councils; from the European Anglers Alliance; from Welsh Government Fisheries (and WFSA has had some input here); from Angling Trust in England, from DEFRA itself the advisor to UK government.
What's needed now is pressure to get politicians to act.
The need is urgent as, at last, the scientific advice supports what many of us have said for some years.
The full advice is at: www.ices.dk/sites/pub/.../Advice/2014/2014/bss-47.pdf
In summary it says:
The spawning stock biomass of bass is estimated to be 10, 000t.
Recruitment to the stock from fish hatch has been very poor since 2008.
ICES, the scientists who advise EU, recommend reducing catches to not more than 1,155 t in 2015, if there is to be any recovery of stocks.
That requires the EU and member states (mainly France, UK, Netherlands and Belgium) to propose ways to reduce catch by 80%.
If catches are not reduced, and given that there are also unrecorded additional catches, it is likely that numbers of bass will be driven to extinction in two or three years.
In any event, recovery will be slow: the science predicts that even with a zero catch in 2015, the spawning stock would increase by only 9% in 2016.
But if nothing is done near extinction is certain. No one knows what might happen if bass are driven to that point. People fear that as happened to the Grand Bank cod stocks, ecological changes may prevent recovery from very low levels.
There are 10,000 t of fish of breeding size, but very few young fish from spawning years since 2008 . It takes a baby fish at least 4 to 7 years to reach breeding size. They grow at a rate of between 3 and 7 cm a year and females only breed at 42 cm. Cold winter weather reduces growth and can kill fish in nursery areas.
It is essential that all decisions regarding fishing measures for bass should be assessed in relation to their potential effect on the spawning stock biomass.
The Decision Makers
The EU Commissioner in the New Commission is Karmenu Vella, a Maltese politician. His department of marine and fisheries now combines with environment. He will prepare the bass proposals for the EU meeting.
The UK Minister is Parliamentary under Secretary of State for farming, food and marine environment, Mr George Eustace MP. He will go to the EU meeting.
Before then he will meet with Ministers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
In Wales, the Minister for Natural Resources has responsibility for fisheries. He is Carl Sergeant AM.
Your own local Member of Parliament can pass on your concerns to Mr Eustace; your constituency Assembly Member and those additional members in your Welsh region can contact to Mr Sergeant; and any of the four Members of the European Parliament are able to approach Mr Vella.
Want to impress upon the UK Minister that proposals for bass management at EU level must deliver the huge cutbacks in catch required by the scientific advice.
Member of Parliament
In this link they are listed by region and constituency and you can get their contact details from it.
European Members of Parliament
There are four for all Wales
Their postal addresses in Brussels are:
Their names and home locations where known (local papers may help you see if they have home surgeries