Bass restrictions hit EU fishing industry

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RECREATIONAL fishermen in the EU now face similar bass fishing restrictions to those introduced in Jersey last year.

Restrictions on bass fishing have been rolled out across the EU

Since January 2017, anglers have had to fish on a catch-and-release basis. At the same time, commercial fishermen were banned from targeting bass with nets but were still able to land up to 180 kg of the fish per session as ‘bycatch’. This was a 70 kg reduction compared to the previous year.

Only a small number of commercial fishermen can now target the species, and must have a special licence and use hook and line. Any catches are also tagged to prove that they have been caught sustainably.

Now, EU officials have decided that recreational fishermen fishing in the European Union for bass must also return their catches to the water immediately. Commercial fishing for bass from shore has been banned and the species can only be caught using four specific types of gear.

Environment Minister Steve Luce said that the stricter EU measures went some way to justifying limits introduced in Jersey last year.

‘We made some difficult decisions this time last year but did so based on the best evidence available. While there have been some reports of more positive bass stocks locally, the wider outlook remains poor and in many ways vindicates the tough choices that we made.

‘The rest of the EU is now coming in line with our bold management measures from 12 months ago,’ he said.

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