Former Fisheries Minister, Richard Benyon MP has thrown his weight behind the combined Angling Trust, BASS and Save Our Sea Bass campaign for a ban on bass netting.
Across Northern Europe sea bass stocks are in deep trouble because of commercial overfishing and the repeated failure of politicians and fishery managers to follow scientific advice and introduce the necessary conservation measures. The Angling Trust and Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS) have pressed hard for ban on bass netting and are campaigning in full support the EU Commission’s proposals for 2017 for a sustainable and well managed recreational and commercial hook and line only bass fishery.
They have launched a national petition which has attracted nearly 6000 signatures in just a few days: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/172441
Richard Benyon said:
“Scientists tell us that bass stocks are crashing in UK waters. The EU has said that there should only be a recreational and commercial hook and line bass fishery with a ban on all netting. We need this proposal to be upheld.
“I am proud to have been made a ‘bass champion’ by the Angling Trust. This amazing species could be part of a regeneration of coastal communities if a proper sporting fishery was allowed to thrive alongside robust conservation measures.”
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust said:
"We are delighted but not at all surprised that Richard Benyon is backing the campaign to protect our threatened bass stocks from over fishing. In his time as our Fisheries Minister Richard was the one person who took this issue seriously and was prepared to act on the warnings of scientists rather than looking for short term political fixes."