Recreational anglers: Conservative campaign scores success

Oct 20, 2009


Proposals to include recreational anglers in the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) have been watered down by EU ministers after a Conservative campaign in the European Parliament, Struan Stevenson MEP, Conservative fisheries spokesman, said today.

Article 47 of the proposed ‘Community Fisheries Control Regulation’ would have required recreational fishermen to register their boats and whatever they caught would have been counted against the fisheries quota for that country. Each country would also have been required to allocate what share of its quota for each fish species would have been available for commercial and recreational fisheries use.

However a compromise agreed late last night by fisheries ministers in Luxembourg would only require sea anglers to report a catch of a species that is covered by an EU stock recovery programme – currently cod in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, and Blue Fin Tuna in the Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic. Ordinary fishermen fishing with a rod and line will not be affected.

Mr Stevenson said that the plans adopted are still far too draconian, given the negligible benefits they will have for fish stocks, however he welcomed the decision to water them down.

He said:

“The initial plans put forward by the European Commission were frankly ludicrous and would have destroyed an innocent ancient hobby and a large source of tourism revenue in the UK.

“These proposals were initially aimed at so-called recreational fishermen in southern Europe who often caught large hauls for sale, rather than a British hobby angler who might catch half a dozen fish.

“I still do not see what benefit it will bring to fish conservation by forcing a hobby angler in Stonehaven to fill out a form every time he catches a cod. However we welcome the commitment to review this decision and I hope that British authorities will not adopt the usual overzealous manner of enforcement they are notorious for.”
Struan Stevenson  on +33 (0)3 88 1 75710
James Holtum on +32 473 861762