Madeleine Moon MP Stands up for Recreational Anglers in the Commons
The future of recreational sea-bass fishing in South Wales, an important part of the local maritime economy, is under threat following the introduction of a new set of regulations rigged in favour of commercial fishing. On Thursday February 11th, Madeleine participated in a Backbench business debate on the subject: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201516/cmhansrd/cm160211/debtext/160211-0003.htm.
Following the debate, Madeleine said:
“I was recently approached by a local angler who was concerned about the decimation of the sea bass population and frustrated by the inadequacy of the Government’s attempt to regulate the fishing industry. I looked further into the issue and was shocked by the scale of the environmental crisis we are confronting.”
“Nobody disputes that there is an urgent need to increase bass stocks. It is an economic and environmental imperative. In 2014, the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas recommended an 80% cut in bass mortality across the EU area for 2015, following a rise in bass landings from 772 tonnes to 1,004 tonnes.”
“But the Government’s regulations punish recreational hook-and-line anglers, while allowing large-scale commercial operations to continue their destructive and indiscriminate fishing practices. In December anglers agreed to accept a temporary ban on all sea-bass fishing, only to find that the UK Fishing Minister and his European counterparts had agreed to exempt commercial fishing.”
“Sea-angling is a popular pastime in the Bridgend area and an integral part of the local tourist industry. Pubs, restaurants, hotels and taxi services benefit from a thriving angling sector and will suffer as a consequence of the Government’s decision. Across the UK, it pumps up to £2.1 billion into the economy, significantly more than commercial fishing.”
“Recreational angling is the sustainable future of sea-bass fishing. We need an explanation as to why the Minister is ignoring the weight of evidence against his policy. The transparency of Government decision-making is at stake.”