01 October 2018
The Minister for the Environment, Deputy John Young, has decided to lift the ban on recreational anglers catching European Seabass. From today (Monday 1 October), the daily bag limit will increase to one fish per day. The decision follows a review of the latest local and international data.
Jersey introduced a zero bag limit for recreational anglers in April 2017, after data from the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) showed that the number of bass would soon fall below the lowest viable breeding limit. Since then, recreational anglers have only been able to target bass on a ‘catch and release’ basis. Restrictions were also put in place for commercial fishermen to allow the stocks of bass to recover.
On Tuesday 4 September, ICES announced that it would now be appropriate to increase the bag limit for bass to one fish per day for recreational anglers. This advice was based on new research which showed that fewer fish died from recreational fisheries than estimated. The survival rate of bass from ‘catch and release’ practices has also been higher than expected.
Monitoring in Jersey also suggests that bass are in recovery, so increasing the bag limit to one fish per day for recreational anglers can be supported. The limit applies to both spear fishers and rod anglers.
Deputy Young has asked that anglers follow a code of best practice when fishing for bass. The code includes:
- only keeping fish that are 45cm to 65cm long
- recording the number of bass caught (using forms available from fishing shops and angling clubs)
- handling fish with care and returning them to the water as quickly as possible if they are to be released
Following the code of best practice will help to conserve bass in Jersey waters.