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EFTTA calls on EU to enforce bass conservation measures

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EFTTA CEO, Jean-Claude Bel (right), addresses the latest meeting of the European Parliament Forum for Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment.

The head of Europe’s fishing tackle trade association has called on the EU to do more to enforce bass conservation legislation.

Jean-Claude Bel, CEO of the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA), told a meeting on the long-term management of European sea bass recreational fisheries that anglers accepted that the sport should be affected by conservation measures.

But he said: “The legislation needs to be enforced. There is a lack of controls and willingness to have the laws properly enforced for both recreational and commercial interests.

“Poachers are known by the community and the authorities, but still continue their activities with almost no risk. There is not enough controls towards the customers of poachers – often restaurants – or the sanctions are ridiculous compared to the gain.

“This needs to become a priority as poaching is a plague that damages the image of honest anglers and commercial fishermen.”

Jean-Claude also called on the European Parliament to:

  • Work for proper and equitable measures by establishing minimum landing and selling sizes for bass at 42cm for both commercial and recreational fishing;
  • To decide temporary fishing closures from January to May/June in legislated areas (December to March/April in more southern regions) for both commercial and recreational fishing;
  • To legislate proper minimum mesh sizes to accompany and make effective the 42cm MLS without discards;
  • To fix a bag limit of any kind that does not put into danger the industry and one that is easy to understand and control.

He also told the meeting that recreational fishing was being treated unfairly compared with other bass exploiting professions and said that fish should stay at the centre of the debate and ‘not be seen as the property of a minority of actors heavily supported by public money’.

The meeting was the second organised in the European Parliamant by  EFTTA, the European Anglers Alliance (EAA), the Angling Trust in their newly created Forum for Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment. It was attended by several MEPs, other non-government organisations (NGO’s) and interested parties.

 

 

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