Do you know what the division Bell is ?
It just seems to me that a Bell is tolling right now . I have backed off from political blogs these days . I live in a small corner of the UK ,surrounded by commercial fishermen , many of whom share the same reefs , slipways, pubs or car parks as I do . I have said a couple of things I regret but I stand true to a great deal of what I thought and said about the harvesting of Bass before. I read back through a few old blogs of mine recently , thats what a blog was supposed to be , a diary ,a record of events, a place to scribble thoughts and feelings as the bloggers journey unfolds. This life on the water has brought me closer and closer to the very people that I once blanket categorised as the bad guys. I like to think I have a far more balanced understanding of who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. As each day goes by I realise that recreational anglers and the majority of hook and line commercial fishermen have a vast amount in common and equally good reason to fear for the future of Bass. We all LOVE Bass , bass fishing and the coastal world that bass fishing takes us too. When I scroll though my list of friends and acquaintances on my mobile phone I now have commercial Bass fishermen and recreational Bass lobbyers alongside one another and I speak to them all fairly often . Its that common love of Bass working its magic again !
We know about the Sea Angling 2012 Survey . We know about the ICES report and the recommendation to cut bass landings by 80 % in order to avoid a disaster . So what is happening ? Well its embarrassing ! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry . Im glad its not me that has to stand up and present the latest recommendations and look another human being in the eye . These pathetic half baked suggestions will hardly make any difference what so ever. I will link to a Bass Blog rather than simply repeat the same words .http://www.ukbass.com/bass-press-release-sea-bass-dont-let-the-eu-off-the-hook/
I could rant on about MLS- Pair Trawlers – Hopelessly useless proposal of a one bag limit on recreational anglers and the insult it delivers . I wont , what I dream or at least ponder endlessly about is commercial and recreational fishermen working together . I think we need each other and the common enemy is bad management of the fishery , there will always be things that divide us .Im not bothered by what divides us I care about what brings us together . Its that magnificent fish that we both love. I think it would break the heart of every commercial fisherman I know if he thought that one day he would not see that big flash of silver or those spines break the surface again. Bass are magnificent creatures. I took this photograph quite recently. I look at it constantly. I really feel that I got lucky with this photo and just captured what it is that makes this fish so special to me.
So what do we do ? Doing nothing is no longer an option for all stakeholders in the fishery . Is it a pipe dream or is it an idea worth pursuing ? Is there a way to galvanise rod and line commercial fishermen and recreational anglers to fight alongside one another against a greater evil ? My friends and aquaintences seem equally discusted by the netting that takes place inshore and sometimes inside or adjacent to Bass nursery areas . The MLS is a tricky area for those that harvest Bass and I know that this will bring some financial pain and sacrifice to the fleet . With appropriate management and protection these migratory fish will return the year on year and can be harvested at a greater size for greater profit. The Pair trawling fleet target Bass while they spawn and harvest fish in vast volumes often pushing the price of Bass down to the point where small stakeholders in the fishery can not justify going to sea. Thats another example of a common evil we and our potential allies face.
We have UK Bass – Angling Trust – South West Handline Fisherman’s Association could the 3 work together ?Are the divisions to great ?
Lets not spend to long thinking it over . I fear we are running out of time