Bass Fishery Management Plan

The Bass FMP is a joint plan between Defra and the Welsh Government and will cover stocks in English and Welsh waters. Policy Lab worked closely with stakeholders in 2022 to help develop recommendations for the Bass FMP. Defra and Welsh Government are taking these forward in 2023. Policy Lab is part of the Department for Education and specialises in co-designing policy with stakeholders.

To give your views or register your interest in future engagement events for the Bass FMP project, email [email protected].

For more information on what a fishery management plan is and how these will be developed please click here.

The Angling Trust want a bass fishery management plan that delivers for recreational sea angling by providing fair and equitable access to the bass stock and safeguards the future of the stock by prioritising sustainable fisheries management.

The Angling Trust are asking for a bass fishery management that:

  • Maximises the socio-economic benefits to coastal communities derived from the bass stock via a natural capital approach
  • Allocates fishing opportunities in proportion to the benefit generated with an increased recognition of the socio-economic value of the recreational sea angling sector
  • Prioritises managing the stock within recommended scientific limits (Maximum Sustainable Yield) in the short-term, whilst outlining a plan to transition to a large-stock strategy in the long-term that delivers bigger fish and ecosystem resilience
  • Adopts a national framework for the management of the bass stock with flexibility to implement regional management
  • Promotes collaboration between all stakeholders, scientists and policy makers to ensure the long-term sustainability of the bass stock and to implement adaptive management which reflects the best-available evidence
  • Improves protection for bass nursery areas while assessing the effectiveness of closed seasons and spatial closures to protect spawning bass
  • Implements strong enforcement by simplifying regulations in line with the best-available evidence


Next Steps

Following a year-long independent stakeholder engagement programme Policy Lab delivered their programme of work to Defra in December 2022. The Policy Lab report will be published in due course and the Angling Trust will post a link to it on this webpage once it is available. Defra have indicated the bass fishery management plan will go to public consultation in spring 2023 for a 12-week period. This timetable is subject to change.

The Angling Trust remain committed to delivering a bass fishery management plan that prioritises the sustainable rebuilding of the bass stock, maximises the benefits derived from the stock to coastal communities through equitable allocation of the bass quota and transitions the bass fishery away from environmentally damaging practices with stronger enforcement of regulations.

The value of recreational angling has long been under appreciated by government. Through our newfound position as a recognised stakeholder and the opportunity presented by fishery management plans, the Angling Trust are working hard on behalf of recreational sea angling to make this shared vision a reality. We’d like to thank all anglers who gave their time to the Policy Lab stakeholder engagement programme through the lived experience interviews, collective intelligence debate and co-design workshops in 2022. Angling voices matter and there has never been a more important time for our community to be heard.

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