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You may want to read this

 

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I've just briefly read it, I'll sit down and read it thoroughly later but it seems to me like he is claiming the numbers are exaggerated, but the bad practices and reality of the situation aren't a million miles off?
 

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And this from the MCS

Seaspiracy: a sea of questions, with answers from our experts

Written by Gareth Cunningham, Head of Fisheries and Aquaculture

We knew that the recent film, Seaspiracy, would raise questions about our ocean and how to protect it. That’s why we prompted you to ask us questions – and promised answers. I’ll be back later this week with more specific answers to individuals’ questions, but for now wanted to say the below.

Ocean waves


We welcome anyone and everyone who is fighting for the health and recovery of our ocean. We’re a science led and solutions driven organisation – so we’re not anti-fishing, or anti-aquaculture, we’re pro-ocean, pro-conservation, pro-sustainable seafood.

We encourage those who include fish and seafood in their diets – a huge 97% of UK households – to choose options that support best practice methods and cause the least environmental damage possible.

While there are 2 billion people around the world dependent on seafood as their primary source of animal protein, over 90% of global fish stocks are overfished or overexploited. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that we drive people – consumers, restaurants, retailers, those who work within the industry – to the Good Fish Guide.

We believe that by meeting people where they are, we have a far better chance of improving the bad, unsustainable practices, supporting the good practices and ultimately restoring our ocean.
 

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Interesting viewpoint in Regs first post by marine biology.net .
Obviously anyone working in Fisheries is unlikely to admit the whole setup is useless, and often corrupt, and currently, I dont think anyone could claim that fishery policy, around the world generally, isnt working to some extent...certainly better than none at all!

However, it is also clear that if a rule can be bent or misinterpreted, then it will be, and coupled to certain local authorities turning a blind eye to certain fishing practises, there is still a lot of work to be done on sustainable fisheries.....even in this country. There is a world of difference between what should happen and what actually happens....

If this happens in this country, and the EU, then you can only imagine the goings on elsewhere?

I make no apologies for taking an interest in bass for example.......

A UK boat has a bass quota and dual authorisation for both net caught and line caught bass.

One is sustainable....line caught, and the other isn't...net caught.

The marine stewardship recommends line caught bass only, and potentially, line caught bass can fetch more money.

Funny how the boats themselves can decide how the bass was caught when they land the catch, with net caught bass being landed as sustainably line caught
bass.

With goings on like this on our own doorstep, with all sorts of regulations in place, its mind boggling what could be going on in other parts of the world!

At the end of the day, it all boils down to money.

Mart
 

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Funny how the boats themselves can decide how the bass was caught when they land the catch, with net caught bass being landed as sustainably line caught
bass.
Mart
Good post and I agree entirely - apart from just one small point. The fishermen get to chose their "default" setting which then records in the MMO landing data how the fish were landed. Some times its years old. Yes, it's decided BEFORE the fish actually get caught. If you have dual authorisation that allows you put down your default setting as H&L and that allows netters to catch an extra 5.7 tonnes a year - in nets. No one checks how the fish were landed just as no one ever checks if there are two gears on board. There is NO facility on the landing slips to record HOW the fish were landed so it cannot be checked at a later date. This means that the guys fishing illegally are immune to prosecution. This has been the case for years and no one has picked up on it - or more accurately, no one wants to pick up on it. How can you manage a fishery if you don't know how the fish are being caught? How can you set catch limits for different metiers for bass if you don't know how the fish are being caught?

Some netters openly set their default as gill nets and still exceed the annual allowance knowing full well that they can get away with it.

The "App" should have changed all this but from what I hear from mates in the industry next to no one is using it and the MMO are failing to chase them up. The MMO might tell you different but this is what I am getting from the horses mouth. I've even heard that the handful of commercials using the app can now land their catch before filling the app in. That means they can shift the fish and then record what little is left - what goes through registered buyers. The bottom line is that nothing has really changed from the old and useless default setting system.

Yet again this year we are going to have the "unavoidable bycatch" fiasco as regards bass and nets. Another classic piece of fishery mismanagement which facilitates the illegal targeting of bass in nets. Yes, Defra, who are supposed to be managing our fisheries, have created a totally illegal fishery for netters in the UK. Many IFCAs and the MMO are happy to facilitate it. This is the 5th year in a row that this has happened. The UK have blocked the introduction of a % which would have defined "unavoidable bycatch" at EU level. IFCAs like that in Cornwall are happy to go along with them. For the 5th year bass will be targeted by netters and anglers will be helpless as the pre spawning aggregations get slaughtered by the same netters once again. They will be able to do it safe in the knowledge that the MMO and IFCAs won't lift a finger to stop them. It will be the same fishermen who were illegally targeting bass in 2017/18/19/20.
I am saddened that the AT and SOSB have failed to campaign to get this situation changed.

In the Cornwall IFCA notes for the December 2020 meeting it stated quite categorically that MMO and CIFCA inspection teams had witnessed a number of landings of 100% bass. In the meeting it was clear that these landings related to nets. " . . . . both organisations have increased their frequency of co-ordinated shore patrols at key ports where bass landings were common and a number of landings of 100% bass were observed by officers". There were no sanctions issued. The authorities, those charged with enforcement to help protect the livelihoods of sustainable handliners and anglers, simply turned a blind eye in order to allow an illegal activity to take place. Its been going on for years. We're not talking about small landings of less than 30 kg which are 100% bass. In this case it is often over 100 kg and in some cases over a tonne in a single landing. The vessels doing this can be identified in the MMO landing data but the MMO won't do it because they know their landing data simply won't support a prosecution in a court of law.

I could ramble on but you will have heard it all before. Whatever a handful do will make no difference to the targeting of bass in the rest in 2021 and I will only end up p*ss*ng myself off. Nothing is going to change. In 25 to 50 years time angling as we know it will be a thing of the past. It will simply continue to decline. .

Some in the commercial sector are destroying their own future as well as ours. You don't have to watch Seaspiracy - it's happening on pour own doorstep.
 

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Good post and I agree entirely - apart from just one small point. The fishermen get to chose their "default" setting which then records in the MMO landing data how the fish were landed. Some times its years old. Yes, it's decided BEFORE the fish actually get caught. If you have dual authorisation that allows you put down your default setting as H&L and that allows netters to catch an extra 5.7 tonnes a year - in nets. No one checks how the fish were landed just as no one ever checks if there are two gears on board. There is NO facility on the landing slips to record HOW the fish were landed so it cannot be checked at a later date. This means that the guys fishing illegally are immune to prosecution. This has been the case for years and no one has picked up on it - or more accurately, no one wants to pick up on it. How can you manage a fishery if you don't know how the fish are being caught? How can you set catch limits for different metiers for bass if you don't know how the fish are being caught?

Some netters openly set their default as gill nets and still exceed the annual allowance knowing full well that they can get away with it.

The "App" should have changed all this but from what I hear from mates in the industry next to no one is using it and the MMO are failing to chase them up. The MMO might tell you different but this is what I am getting from the horses mouth. I've even heard that the handful of commercials using the app can now land their catch before filling the app in. That means they can shift the fish and then record what little is left - what goes through registered buyers. The bottom line is that nothing has really changed from the old and useless default setting system.

Yet again this year we are going to have the "unavoidable bycatch" fiasco as regards bass and nets. Another classic piece of fishery mismanagement which facilitates the illegal targeting of bass in nets. Yes, Defra, who are supposed to be managing our fisheries, have created a totally illegal fishery for netters in the UK. Many IFCAs and the MMO are happy to facilitate it. This is the 5th year in a row that this has happened. The UK have blocked the introduction of a % which would have defined "unavoidable bycatch" at EU level. IFCAs like that in Cornwall are happy to go along with them. For the 5th year bass will be targeted by netters and anglers will be helpless as the pre spawning aggregations get slaughtered by the same netters once again. They will be able to do it safe in the knowledge that the MMO and IFCAs won't lift a finger to stop them. It will be the same fishermen who were illegally targeting bass in 2017/18/19/20.
I am saddened that the AT and SOSB have failed to campaign to get this situation changed.

In the Cornwall IFCA notes for the December 2020 meeting it stated quite categorically that MMO and CIFCA inspection teams had witnessed a number of landings of 100% bass. In the meeting it was clear that these landings related to nets. " . . . . both organisations have increased their frequency of co-ordinated shore patrols at key ports where bass landings were common and a number of landings of 100% bass were observed by officers". There were no sanctions issued. The authorities, those charged with enforcement to help protect the livelihoods of sustainable handliners and anglers, simply turned a blind eye in order to allow an illegal activity to take place. Its been going on for years. We're not talking about small landings of less than 30 kg which are 100% bass. In this case it is often over 100 kg and in some cases over a tonne in a single landing. The vessels doing this can be identified in the MMO landing data but the MMO won't do it because they know their landing data simply won't support a prosecution in a court of law.

I could ramble on but you will have heard it all before. Whatever a handful do will make no difference to the targeting of bass in the rest in 2021 and I will only end up p*ss*ng myself off. Nothing is going to change. In 25 to 50 years time angling as we know it will be a thing of the past. It will simply continue to decline. .

Some in the commercial sector are destroying their own future as well as ours. You don't have to watch Seaspiracy - it's happening on pour own doorstep.
Had you discussed this with the AT you would have known the AT are indeed working on this issue and those 100% bass catches you mean was raised direct with the CEO of the Cornwall IFCA during the AT/CIFCA virtual meeting. It was mentioned that the 100% catches on numerous occasions consisted of just a dozen or less bass, according to the data held. Well that was the excuse given by the CEO.
 

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Watched this one as well. Some shocking statistics. Good to sea that the "SEA SHEPARDS" organisation is now more "LEGALLY" supported.
 

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Not watched this myself yet as I've only just found it , while looking to see if I could find another way of watch the programme . So please don't slay me if it doesn't meet approval ........

 
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Theres already a thread on this in general sea angling so this thread has now been moved and merged. Thanks. Jude.
 

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Had you discussed this with the AT you would have known the AT are indeed working on this issue and those 100% bass catches you mean was raised direct with the CEO of the Cornwall IFCA during the AT/CIFCA virtual meeting. It was mentioned that the 100% catches on numerous occasions consisted of just a dozen or less bass, according to the data held. Well that was the excuse given by the CEO.
While I could do without this, Please read my post again. I've covered this already Reg. I took part in the AT/CIFCA virtual meeting and commented on it in the appropriate thread on this forum. Check it out because you responded to me!!!!. IMHO the CFO of CIFCA was let off the hook completely and was never asked to justify some of the ludicrous remarks she made. She left herself wide open when someone mentioned using a % to define bycatch. I remarked, in the thread on this, on how the AT had failed to challenge her. In still stand by my remarks.

Additionally, she was never put on the spot and told that we are not talking about catches of 100% bass which are of a dozen bass or less. Its the catches of over 100 kg with very high % of bass that I am referring to.
If you read my latest post again you will see that I make it crystal clear that:
We're not talking about small landings of less than 30 kg which are 100% bass. In this case it is often over 100 kg and in some cases over a tonne in a single landing.
I'm not sure how you missed that. I've specifically referred to 100 kg! Please read it again.
Why not check out the MMO landing data and you will find it is all there. If the AT is working on this issue, as you claim in your post, then please update us on how it is going and what the AT have suggested in order to put an end to the issue of illegally targeting bass in nets.

I would also respectfully suggest that AT raise it with the MMO as IFCAs do not have access to the un-anonymised data which can identify these lawbreakers. The MMO can identify these netters; the IFCAs can't. That is something else the angling organisations have failed to recognise.

What is more, if you check out the memorandum of agreement that exists between the MMO and the IFCAs you will also find that the MMO are responsible for taking the lead in the enforcement of EU regulations out to the six nautical mile limit. The bass regulations come from the EU. The MMO is the lead in the enforcement of these regulations and it is their data. They are the ones to pressure.

The point I am trying to make, obviously not too successfully, is that if a % was used to define "unavoidable bycatch" then this would stop the massive catches of 100% or near to 100% bass. Under the old catch composition regulations the target species, (plural), had to make up 70% of the catch. Bycatch then made up 30%. If you had that in place now and said that a maximum of 30% of the catch could be unavoidable bycatch of bass then that means 70% would have to made up of the target species - what is that species going to be and lets have some figures to support any claims you are going to make. I can tell you now Reg - you are going to struggle.

Let's get back to the example I mention in my post. There are recorded landings of over a tonne of bass - for that to be legal then the vessel would have to land over twice that in other species - TWO and a third tonnes plus a TONNE of bass - in an under ten!!!!!!!! You cannot be serious. There are large landings of bass, (over 100 kg), made up of very high % of bass. It's all in the MMO landing data - if you had been aware of this I doubt you would have accepted the CFO excuse that many were less than a dozen bass. No one challenged her. That was down to the AT. Observers like me weren't in a position to do so.

Like most bass anglers I want to see a stop to the illegal targeting of bass by netters. I think that's reasonable. I expect Angling organisations to want the same. Has the AT really been working on this as you claim because, if they have been, then they have failed completely. A few days ago netters were told they could land up to 1.4 tonnes of unavoidable bycatch again this year and no definition of unavoidable bycatch was given - no %, no nothing. Bass fishing guidance 2020 If as you claim, the AT are working on this issue then how do you explain this? Did the AT run a campaign to introduce a % to define unavoidable bycatch because if they did then I must have missed it. We have the same situation as regards bass and nets as we have had since 2017. There was no definition of unavoidable bycatch then and there isn't now. Only the catch limits have changed and to the netters benefit. So please tell me again that the AT are working on this.

I'm generally very supportive of the angling orgs but in this instance I'm struggling. I would prefer that not to be the case.
 

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While I could do without this, Please read my post again. I've covered this already Reg. I took part in the AT/CIFCA virtual meeting and commented on it in the appropriate thread on this forum. Check it out because you responded to me!!!!. IMHO the CFO of CIFCA was let off the hook completely and was never asked to justify some of the ludicrous remarks she made. She left herself wide open when someone mentioned using a % to define bycatch. I remarked, in the thread on this, on how the AT had failed to challenge her. In still stand by my remarks.

Additionally, she was never put on the spot and told that we are not talking about catches of 100% bass which are of a dozen bass or less. Its the catches of over 100 kg with very high % of bass that I am referring to.
If you read my latest post again you will see that I make it crystal clear that:

I'm not sure how you missed that. I've specifically referred to 100 kg! Please read it again.
Why not check out the MMO landing data and you will find it is all there. If the AT is working on this issue, as you claim in your post, then please update us on how it is going and what the AT have suggested in order to put an end to the issue of illegally targeting bass in nets.

I would also respectfully suggest that AT raise it with the MMO as IFCAs do not have access to the un-anonymised data which can identify these lawbreakers. The MMO can identify these netters; the IFCAs can't. That is something else the angling organisations have failed to recognise.

What is more, if you check out the memorandum of agreement that exists between the MMO and the IFCAs you will also find that the MMO are responsible for taking the lead in the enforcement of EU regulations out to the six nautical mile limit. The bass regulations come from the EU. The MMO is the lead in the enforcement of these regulations and it is their data. They are the ones to pressure.

The point I am trying to make, obviously not too successfully, is that if a % was used to define "unavoidable bycatch" then this would stop the massive catches of 100% or near to 100% bass. Under the old catch composition regulations the target species, (plural), had to make up 70% of the catch. Bycatch then made up 30%. If you had that in place now and said that a maximum of 30% of the catch could be unavoidable bycatch of bass then that means 70% would have to made up of the target species - what is that species going to be and lets have some figures to support any claims you are going to make. I can tell you now Reg - you are going to struggle.

Let's get back to the example I mention in my post. There are recorded landings of over a tonne of bass - for that to be legal then the vessel would have to land over twice that in other species - TWO and a third tonnes plus a TONNE of bass - in an under ten!!!!!!!! You cannot be serious. There are large landings of bass, (over 100 kg), made up of very high % of bass. It's all in the MMO landing data - if you had been aware of this I doubt you would have accepted the CFO excuse that many were less than a dozen bass. No one challenged her. That was down to the AT. Observers like me weren't in a position to do so.

Like most bass anglers I want to see a stop to the illegal targeting of bass by netters. I think that's reasonable. I expect Angling organisations to want the same. Has the AT really been working on this as you claim because, if they have been, then they have failed completely. A few days ago netters were told they could land up to 1.4 tonnes of unavoidable bycatch again this year and no definition of unavoidable bycatch was given - no %, no nothing. Bass fishing guidance 2020 If as you claim, the AT are working on this issue then how do you explain this? Did the AT run a campaign to introduce a % to define unavoidable bycatch because if they did then I must have missed it. We have the same situation as regards bass and nets as we have had since 2017. There was no definition of unavoidable bycatch then and there isn't now. Only the catch limits have changed and to the netters benefit. So please tell me again that the AT are working on this.

I'm generally very supportive of the angling orgs but in this instance I'm struggling. I would prefer that not to be the case.

The AT are quite specific in their explanations of the IFCA virtual meetings, they are there for anglers to interact with the IFCA's, not the AT interacting with the IFCA's. That is why there is a Q&A's section for you to ask any questions you like. That is why I raised my own questions individually during the DSIFCA virtual meeting. The AT has spent and continues to spend a large amount of their available resources on bass conservation/representation, spanning several years now covering everything to do with bass, from MCRS, pair trawling over wintering bass in the Western approaches, gill netting, RSA bag limits and commercial targeting, bycatch and recording, even the buyers and sellers loopholes and the new U10 apps. If you want them to concentrate specifically on what is concerning you directly I suggest you contact them and explain your concerns. The unavoidable bycatch of bass has been discussed a CAG level and I believe the AT have had as much success getting explanations from with the MMO as the IFCA's have. If you want them to do more, contact them and explain how you think that can be achieved direct. I'm going to give you two email address via PM for you to deal direct with the Head of Campaigns as they will be able to explain the depths they have gone in raising the concerns of bycatch. With such little resources for sea angling the AT cannot automatically have eyes focused on every possible concern anglers may have, they need anglers to be their eyes and ears on the ground and tell them when they think there is a problem. That goes for bass, wrasse, mullet and every other species as well as localised threats of angling bans etc...... the list is endless

Talk to them.
 

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Reg, you were the one who jumped in and responded to me when I was replying to Mart post about issues with landing data and the illegal landings of bass in nets. You jumped in and brought up the AT and told us how they were working on this issue. I didn't ask you to comment and tell us that but as you made that claim I asked you to supply details. Now you seem very defensive and unprepared or unable to give details.

To suggest that I am only concentrating only on what concerns me is completely untrue and totally unfair. You know absolutely nothing about me or what I have or haven't done in terms of conservation over the years. I would suggest that the illegal targeting of bass in nets is something that concerns the overwhelming majority of bass anglers and not just me. I would hope that the AT recognise that is the case too. The introduction of a % to define unavoidable bycatch would sort this is issue once and for all. You claimed the AT were working on this issue. I simply asked for details. You have yet to supply any. Please do so or don't bother to respond.
 
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