Five sea fish ratified as record catches

The BRFC met at Fishmongers’ Hall, London Bridge, on 17th November 2021

Present were: Mike Heylin OBE (Chairman), Oliver Crimmen (Scientific Advisor, Natural History Museum), Chris Clark BCAe (Marine Specialist), Andrew Nellist (Freshwater Specialist), Capt. Stephen Mardlin MBE RN (Freshwater Specialist), Tim Froome (Marine Specialist, Guernsey), Paul Edwards (Wales representative) and Nick Simmonds (Secretary). David Craig (Ireland representative) and Dr Phill Williams (Marine Specialist) attended remotely by internet link.

The BRFC’s 17th November meeting saw the retirement of the Chairman, Mike Heylin OBE and his handover of the Chair to Captain Stephen Mardlin MBE RN. The committee paid tribute to Mike, who has diligently served as BRFC Chair for over a decade, having accepted the Chair from Ian Epps on his retirement in December 2011. During his tenure as Chair, Mike has overseen some important decisions taken by the committee including the closing of record listings for cultivated fish, as well as potentially controversial issues such as claims for the carp record which were rejected after much careful consideration. Mike has also championed the project currently underway within the BRFC to review the criteria for some sea-fish record claims.

Mike, a previous Chairman of the Angling Trust, has only recently resigned from representing angling at European level and continues as Vice-Chair of the Angling Trades Association among his other on-going angling commitments.

Mike passes the baton to Steve Mardlin who is an accomplished coarse match angler. He has recently been Chair of the UK Armed Forces Angling Association and the Royal Navy Angling Association both of which he has now handed over as he retires from the Royal Navy early next year. He continues to be Chairman of a local angling club with two waters and 500 members. Steve is already working with other committee members on opportunities to continue to modernise the BRFC and review the record claims processes.

The committee considered and accepted the following record claims as being duly ratified:

  • Two-banded sea-bream (Diplodus vulgaris), (shore-caught) of 189 grams, caught on 12th August 2022 by Kyle Williams, from St Sampsons Harbour, Guernsey.

  • Two-banded sea-bream (Diplodus vulgaris), (shore-caught) of 240 grams, caught on 9th September 2022 by Sarah le Page, from St Sampsons Reclamation Site, Guernsey.

  • Couch’s sea-bream (Pagrus pagrus), (shore-caught) of 4lb 5oz, caught on 3rd August 2022 by Wayne Sage, from Dorset’s Chesil Beach.

  • White sea-bream (Diplodus sargus), (boat-caught) of 1lb 15oz 2dr, caught on 15th July 2022 by Paris Broe-Bougourd, from the east coast of Guernsey.

  • Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus), (boat-caught) ratified at 35lb, caught on 8th August 2022 by Alan Evans off Muckle Flugga, Shetland, fishing from the charter boat “Revolution” skippered by John Keggie.

Two applications were received for entries to the Notable Fish List and after consideration were both duly accepted:

  • Porbeagle shark (Lamna nasus), shore-caught while tope-fishing from a North-Cornish coast mark by Liam Warder on 17th June 2022 and measured at 143.5cm (56.5 inches) fork length and 160cm (63 inches) overall, with a girth of 89cm (35 inches).
  • Imperial scaldfish (Arnoglossus imperialis), boat-caught by Sean McSeveney on 13th October 2022, fishing from charter boat “Lo Kie Adventures” out of Penzance, skippered by Kieren Faisey. Sean’s fish could not be considered for a record claim as it was not weighed on land, but it has a rightful place on the Notable Fish List as the first scaldfish to enter the BRFC listings.

The BRFC is progressing its review of its sea-fish listings, particularly with regard to species which may be boat-caught but not landed for weighing, and the criteria employed for record claims in such circumstances. A sub-committee of the BRFC has been nominated to prepare a paper to put forward proposals for consideration by the committee as a whole during 2023.

The Committee would like to remind readers that in the event of the capture of a potential record fish, the captor should first contact the British Record (rod-caught) Fish Committee without delay.

Captors of potential record fish should contact the Secretary, Nick Simmonds, at the Angling Trust, on 01568 620447 or by email at [email protected]

Nick will record the details of the capture and advise the claimant on progressing the claim.  More information about what to do if you catch a record fish can be found on the BRFC web pages here.

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