Bass Fishery Management Plan Process Begins

It’s a new dawn for UK fisheries management with a new Fisheries Act (2020) and the government’s stated ambition for our fisheries to be ‘World Class’.  This is an exciting yet challenging time for sea anglers, who were finally recognised as stakeholders in 2020.

The bass fishery management plan will be one of the first to be developed – a so-called “frontrunner”. Bass is an important species to many recreational sea anglers, and bass angling is a valuable part of the social and economic contribution that sea angling makes to coastal communities. With bass stocks still in poor shape, the government must seize this opportunity to develop an ambitious fishery management plan that maximises socio-economic benefits, whilst securing the health of the stock for future generations.

Policy Lab have been commissioned by Defra to conduct stakeholder analysis and engagement as part of the development of the bass fishery management plan. This process has now begun.

The Angling Trust and Save Our Sea Bass met with the Policy Lab team in early May as part of initial stakeholder discussions to develop the bass fishery management plan. We are already working hard to try to achieve a bass fishery management plan that delivers for recreational sea anglers. We will need your full support as the co-design process gets underway over the coming months.

Members of the recreational sea angling community who wish to engage with Policy Lab now, to inform their stakeholder analysis, can do so by completing this form:

The Angling Trust and Save Our Sea Bass will provide sea anglers with updates throughout the process on how they can get involved and get their voices heard. 

Hannah Rudd of the Angling Trust said, “If the government is truly willing to act on the recommendations of stakeholders engaging in the co-design process, this potentially represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a bass fishery that maximises the socio-economic benefits of the fishery for all society and prioritises improving bass stocks for a sustainable future. We will do everything we can to help achieve this outcome. The government must be ambitious – business-as-usual should not be an option.”

 David Curtis of Save Our Sea Bass (the campaigning arm of BASS) said, “ The government must be genuinely open to an ambitious overhaul of the bass fishery.  At the moment, we are concerned that the process will be rushed, and the government intends to simply codify its current approach to the management of bass: a patchwork of measures that are poorly considered, unsupported by evidence and, at times, irrational and incoherent.”

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