14 August 2015
New measures to protect bass stocks in Jersey waters have been proposed.
The Assistant Minister for Economic Development with responsibility for fisheries, Deputy Steve Luce has published a comprehensive set of management measures for the protection of bass stocks. It follows advice about the sustainability of the species and what the EU is doing to maintain stocks.
Following detailed discussions at the Marine Resources Panel, the Minister is proposing to adopt the following measures:
- Ban of winter pelagic trawling
- Limit of three fish per day for recreational fishermen
- Monthly limits on commercial vessels
- Increase in minimum size to 42cm
- Max limit of 50 hooks set on the beach (trots) per person
- Max limit of 100m of net set on the beach per person.
This set of measures is designed to reduce fishing mortality and introduces controls on the commercial and recreational fishing sectors, as the bass is significant to both.
Deputy Luce said “This is an important stock and it is vital the right package of measures is put in place to protect it. I’m fully aware of how passionate fishermen are about this iconic species and I hope the mix of measures that will impact on all those catching bass will show that it is important we all work together to ensure its sustainability.”
A change in the minimum mesh size for nets is currently not part of the package of measures in Jersey or the EU but will be subject to further discussion.
Deputy Luce said “A change in the minimum net size is still on the table and will be brought in, should it be required. We must look at the evidence about the stock and act accordingly.”
Discussions concerning the management of this species have been ongoing for many years at the Marine Resources Panel and through wider consultations. The Minister however is still keen to hear from members of the public about the measures proposed particularly those who may have fished commercially from the shore.
Assistant Director – Marine Resources, Greg Morel said “We would like to know more about the impact of these measures on people who’ve sold fish caught from the beach. These measures are for stock protection but we must take into consideration those who have legitimately fished from the shore.”
In addition to the above package of measures, the Assistant Minister, supported by the Marine Resources Panel, has asked the Minister for Economic Development to update the Policing of Beaches regulations to prevent driving on the beach to transport fishing gear. This change doesn’t affect the launching and recovery of boats.
Deputy Luce said “Parts of our coast are recognised as being internationally important and can be sensitive to disturbance. This change will mean that only those with a permit will be able to drive on the beach for the transport of fishing gear.”