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One Bass Bag Limit To Improve Fish Stocks

7th January 2016

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council, one of the configurations of the Council of the European Union, recently agreed the proposed Council Regulation 559 (with some amendments). The adopted final version will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union in the coming days. The regulation sets out fishing opportunities and fish quotas for EU fishing fleets, and also sets out new rules for recreational bass fishing throughout northern Europe, including Ireland. Implementation of this regulation will require new legislation in Ireland.

In the interim period, pending legislation, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is requesting anglers to recognise the need for conservation and to fish according to the regulations that are expected to be introduced shortly i.e. to fish on a catch-and-release basis up to and including June 30th, 2016.

A one fish bag limit will apply from July 1 to December 31. It is envisaged that the introduction of new legislation for Ireland will incorporate elements of the National Bass Policy and will be introduced in advance of the close season for bass angling.

The new EU regulation on bass fishing was introduced as an emergency measure to address declining bass stocks, as scientific advice indicates that stocks in northern Europe are in a perilous state.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of IFI stated “Bass is a valuable and important sport angling species which has been managed as an angling species since 1990. It is a valuable resource, contributing €71 million to the Irish economy annually and supporting over 1,200 jobs. The new measures here and restrictions on commercial fishing outside Irish waters will help improve bass stocks and ensure they continue to provide quality angling for local and tourist anglers alike into the future, sustaining and growing the important economic and social benefits.”

While there is no commercial fishing for bass in Ireland, commercial fishing elsewhere has been severely curtailed, particularly on spawning stocks, which should help Irish stocks. New measures for recreational angling are also being imposed on an international level.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.

Published in Angling
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