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  • Top anglers chase 60 fish species in Sussex waters

    Eastbourne Charter Boat species hunt 14 September 2015

    12 teams of top anglers will be challenging for the Charter Boat species Hunt in September and what many people wont realize is that there are upward of 60 species of fish that could be caught

    Top 20 Probables

    Bass, black bream, bull huss, cod, dab, dogfish, garfish, tub gurnard, mackerel, plaice, pollack, pout, scad, smooth hound, whiting, ballan wrasse, goldsinny wrasse, blenny, goby, poor cod.

    Next 20 Possibles

    Conger, flounder, red & grey gurnard, red mullet, thornback ray, small eyed ray, three bearded rockling, sole, spurdog, tope, trigger fish, cuckoo wrasse, corkwing wrasse, baillons wrasse, dragonet, red band fish, sand eel, lesser weever, topknot

    And another 18 all caught in the area but rarely.

    Turbot, brill, gilthead bream, coalfish, tadpole fish, herring, anchovy, john dory, ling, lumpsucker, grey mullet, blonde ray, spotted ray, undulate ray, 5 bearded rockling, sea scorpion, shad, pilchard, greater weever

    To get involved contact the BexhillAngling Festvial team - www.bexhillseaanglingfestival.co.uk

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  • Battle For Bass - EU Finally Agrees To Increase Minimum Size For Bass

    Battle For Bass - EU Finally Agrees To Increase Minimum Size For Bass

    Following several successive years of stock decline and a vigorous campaign by recreational angling organisations, the countries of the EU have finally agreed to raise the minimum size at which bass can be harvested by both commercial and recreational fisherman.

    The Minimum Conservation Reference Size (MCRS) for bass will increase from 36cm to 42cm across all northern European waters in an effort to protect the stock and allow female bass to spawn.

    This completes the package of measures for 2015 aimed at dramatically reducing bass fishing mortality. Other parts of the package included a ban on winter pelagic trawling for bass, a three fish per day bag limit for recreational anglers and most recently monthly vessel limits for commercial bass fisheries.

    The increase in MCRS is a move that the Angling Trust and Bass Anglers' Sportfishing Society (BASS) have battled for more than a decade to get adopted and is a big step towards reducing bass fishing mortality and managing the stock sustainably by allowing at least some female bass the chance to spawn - something female bass can only start to do when they reach around 42cm in length.

    No increase in mesh sizes for commercial fisheries have been proposed alongside the increase in MCRS in a bid to reduce the amount of 'micro-management' from Brussels - a long standing criticism from the commercial fishing industry.

    As a result, commercial fishermen are being expected to change fishing gears voluntarily in order to avoid the time and expense of catching fish below 42cm which, from September 1st when the new MCRS comes in to force, they will be unable to sell. The new measure will apply for the remainder of 2015 after which agreement will need to be reached again on a package of measures for 2016.

    In addition to retaining no more than three fish per day recreational anglers will now be required to release all bass caught below 42cm.

    David Mitchell, Marine Campaigns Manager for the Angling Trust said: "The recreational angling sector has played a central role in getting the MCRS increased to a level that allows at least some bass the chance to rebuild the stock before being harvested. We are pleased that the package of measures for 2015 has now been agreed and that all sectors will now be playing their part in reducing pressure on the stock. However, the increase won't come in to force until September and comes with no legal requirement for commercial fishermen to use fishing gears that will avoid catching bass below the new MCRS. Instead they are being expected to move voluntarily to more selective gears that avoid fish below 42cm. Moaning about micro-management from Brussels is no longer an option for the commercial fishing industry and the ball is now firmly in their court to make this works by adapting their fishing gears and fishing practices in order to comply with the new regulation and contribute to reducing their impact on the stock. If not we will be calling on the UK Government to take appropriate measures to ensure that they do."

    Martin Salter, National Campaign Coordinator for the Angling Trust added:

    "This is clearly good news for our threatened bass stocks and we hope to see some improvement in the dire levels of successful recruitment that recent surveys have revealed. However, there is much more to be done give this fine fish a future and adequate protection from the irresponsible over fishing that has pushed the species to the brink. We need better protection for inshore nursery areas and estuaries where young bass live and we need to move to a fully documented fishery where every bass taken for sale is properly recorded with no exemptions. We may even have to see the introduction of a hook and line fishery only if we are serious about achieving a full stock recovery. The Angling Trust would like to put on record our thanks to the MPs of all parties who worked with us on pressing for meaningful bass conservation measures. Their support has been crucial and we will need them again."

    Ian Misselbrook, Chairman of the Bass Anglers' Sportfishing Society, said: "Whilst BASS is delighted that movement has been achieved on increasing the minimum size from the current 36cms to 42cms we remain adamant that for there to be long term stock improvement a MCRS of 48cm should be the longer term objective. This, together with additional management measures set out in our Bass Management Plan, might give the stock a fighting chance. I understand that the Commercial fishing sector have been equally concerned about the state of the stock and therefore the Commission has given them the burden of responsibility to ensure the necessary gear changes will be introduced to improve selectivity and avoid bass below 42cm which they will no longer be able to sell. The Commercial fishing industry must now take responsibility for making sure this happens. I am hoping that after many years of BASS, the Angling Trust and European Anglers Alliance lobbying this is now the start of the introduction of progressive long term management measures that will give us all more and bigger bass."

    Jan Kappel, Secretary General of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) said: "We warmly welcome the adoption of the new 42cm MCRS but the EU Member States have to learn to operate more effectively as it has taken nearly three years for them to reach agreement on this package of measures. Now that bass is being managed by the EU we can expect better data collection on the stock as well as bass to fall under the landings obligation (discard ban) from 2019. It is a shame that the new MCRS only applies to northern EU waters. We will continue to lobby for it to be introduced in the southern waters too."

    The Commission was forced to make proposals to manage bass at EU level after it became clear that individual Member States were failing to manage the stock sustainably. Management at EU level - ultimately leading to inclusion in a long term management plan - means better data collection on bass over coming years which is essential for management measures to be effective.

    Scientific advice on fishing for bass in 2016 published by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) recommends yet another drastic reduction in fishing catches from 1115 tonnes in 2015 to no more than 541 tonnes in 2016.

    The package of measures agreed by the EU in 2015 has been hard and fast by EU standards but much more stringent measures are going to be needed in 2016 if catches are going to be reduced anywhere near the level advised by ICES. If not a total closure of bass fishing in northern Europe could be the only option left to avert a total stock collapse. The Angling Trust and BASS are continuing to press the UK government to take further action to protect bass in UK territorial waters - an approach that has been successfully adopted by the Irish government which now has a recreational fishery generating up to 20 million euros in economic benefit.

    Ends

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  • Summer boom in Smoothhound fishing along the Sussex coast

    Sussex anglers have been enjoying a boom in Smoothound fishing both from the shore and in boats. Liittlehampton based Charter boat Spirit of Arun has been leading the way with a number of spectacular catches- mixed in with some Tope too we understand. Boats in Shoreham, Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings have all been having great success with these excellent fighting fish.

    On the beaches there have also been wsome cracking fish topped of by Eastbourne angler Joe Plumstead landing a 16lb fish in West Sussex.

    You can see some of the pics here http://www.sussexanglingmedia.co.uk/#/fish-of-the-month/4589384866

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  • Alan Coombs wins Brighton Pollack Competition

    Alan Coombs won the 2015 Brighton Pollack Competition, sponsord by Diawa, with a fish of 16lb. He caught the fish on Lady of The Lake a boat which also had the best junior on board - young Michael Parker who landed a 12lb fish.

    There were many more fish caught than last year with over 20 boats fishing a variety of wrecks - some of them as much as 30 miules offshore.

    The event orghanised by Brighton Diver skipper Paul Dyer, raised £1500 for the RNLI. Keith Arthur fished on Brighton Diver and a report oif the event will be broadcast on Fridays episode of Tight Lines.

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  • Angling Trust in Sussex elects officers at AGM

    The Angling Trustr Sussex Marine Region held it's Annual General Meeting at the end of February and elected new officers.

    Angling Trust Director Tim Macpherson is now Chair of the Region, Reg Phillips is the Secretary and West Sussex and Surrey Angling Academy onwer Graham Cridland is the Treasurer.

    At the meeting the group also discussed some of the projects it is planning in 2015 - this includes working with thr local IFCA and Environment Agency on creating and placing angling information signs at strategic points along the Sussex Coast.

    In addition tnegotiations continue over management measures for the proposed Kingmere Marine Conservation Zone and there is a plan to continue with more of the successful Shoreham Port Family Fishing Days. A meeting with the Port Authority and Adur Counciul is scheduled for Mid March.

    A constitution for the Region was formally adopted at the meeting.

    More on all of this can be found at www.anglingtrustsussexmarine.net

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  • Trawling for bass during the spawning period has been banned in a historic set of emergency measures aimed at averting a total collapse of Europe’s bass stocks.

    The ban on pelagic trawling – which accounts for 25 per cent of the impact on the stock and includes the controversial method of pair trawling – will begin immediately in the Channel, Celtic sea, Irish Sea and Southern North Sea and run until April 30th during which time adult bass aggregate to reproduce and are most vulnerable.

    The EU is putting forward further measures to deal with the impact on bass stocks of recreational and other commercial fishing methods. For recreational bass angling the proposals include a three fish a day bag limit and an increase in the legal minimum size of bass from 36cm to 42cm.

    The European Commission is also proposing limiting catches for other commercial bass fisheries and is working on a proposal with member states which will be taken to the Council of fisheries ministers as soon as possible.

    The emergency measures have been introduced following scientific advice in June 2014 that recommended an 80 per cent cut in catches from the previous year and confirmation that continued fishing pressure was leading to serious harm to the reproductive capacity of the stock.

    This is the first time that Article 12 of the reformed Common Fisheries Policy has been invoked due to, “A serious threat to the conservation of marine biological resources..”.

    The Angling Trust and our partners at the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (B.A.S.S.) and (European Anglers Alliance) have been campaigning tirelessly for the introduction of conservation measures for bass – a crucially important recreational species and one that generates hundreds of millions of pounds and supports tens of thousands of jobs across Europe. In 2012 the Angling Trust organised a delegation to the then Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon to press the case for bass conservation measures in the face of evidence demonstrating that stocks were in trouble.

    The Angling Trust will be continuing to work with the UK and the Commission to ensure that the measures to limit other commercial bass fisheries are in proportion to the new bag limit and minimum size being proposed for recreational catches. In addition the Trust will be working with the UK to agree on what additional measures the UK can take to restore the UK bass fishery.

    David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s Marine Campaigns Manager, said;

    “Emergency measures such as this, can last for a maximum of 12 months so it is crucial that the Commission and member states now follow through on the commitment to develop a long term bass management plan which the Angling Trust and our partners will play a key role in helping to develop. This is an historic decision for recreational fishing and hopefully represents a sea change in public policy towards marine conservation. However, there's a long way to go yet to achieve what is needed for a truly sustainable fishery."

    Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said;

    “Bass anglers have been calling for action to protect stocks for nearly a decade and it seems that the UK government and European Commission have at last acted, in the face of undeniable scientific evidence and a concerted campaign by the Angling Trust and BASS. The immediate emergency measures that have been confirmed are very welcome and the intention to follow these up with further restrictions on commercial exploitation is encouraging. “

    Nigel Horsman, of the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society, said;

    “This is a great day for Dicentrarchus Labrax, the fabulous European Sea Bass, and what we have been working so hard and waiting so long for. We also look forward to the production of a long term management plan for bass, which will lead to healthy stocks of all sizes of bass for the benefit of everyone who uses this stock sustainably.

    I would like to pay tribute to the fantastic work of everyone in the Bass Anglers Sportfishing Society (BASS) and the Angling Trust who campaigned for this for many years. The strength and breadth of that support has been invaluable in achieving this amazing result.

    We know that recruitment to the adult stock will be weak for the next few years, but I hope these measures will ensure that the current stock remains broadly stable until environmental conditions allow a full stock recovery, which we can cherish and then enjoy great British Bass fishing for many years to come."

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  • Anglers Den owner triumphs in Angling Trust sussex Shore Championships

    Kevin Morgan (pictured below) triumphed in the foinal of the Angling Trust All Sussex Shore Championships on Sunday. The final, held at Pevensey, was the culmination of 9 months of heats held in venues along the south coast from Bexhill in East Sussex to Pagham in West Sussex.

    On a calm and sunny January day competiting anglers all found plenty of fish with Whiting, Rockling, Flounders, Codling and even Bass showing up regulalry throughout the day.

    Kevin, co-owner of the popular Sussex tackle shop the Anglers Den, caught 44 fish overall and only beat second placed Ralph Crosby by a whisker. Ex England International Trevor Rooney came in third.

    The biggest fish was a bass.

    Angling Trust Director and Sussex Maine Region organiser Tim Mapherson said of the competition " It was a bold idea to try and create a Sussex wide championships. we wanted to let matchmen all along the coast have their own county based event. We'll review the 2014 event and will be announcing plans for 2015 shortly"

    For more detailsgot to www.anglingtrustsussexmarine.net

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  • Angling Trust Appoints Sussex Angling Media Publisher Tim Macpherson as Director

    Sussex Angling Media publisher Tim Macpherson has been appointed to the Board of the Angling Trust with a remit to workj on the sea anglingSide of the organisation helping to recruit more members and give the organisation a higher profile. The appointment follows his work in Sussex with the Sussex Marine Region particulalry on Bream Conbservation and management issues.

    He is joined on the board by Nigel Haywood and TIm Goode.

    The Angling Trust rerleased the following statement:

    Tuesday 21st October 2014

    New Appointments to Angling Trust Board of Directors and Fish Legal Committee

    At the AGM of the Angling Trust earlier in October, and at the AGM of Fish Legal on the same day, the members of each organisation respectively voted almost unanimously to appoint two new Directors to the Angling Trust Board, one new Trustee to the Fish Legal Committee and to support changes to the rules of both organisations. Nigel Haywood and Tim Macpherson have been appointed to the Angling Trust Board, while Tim Goode has joined the Fish Legal Committee (biographies below).

    Jim Glasspool, Mike Heylin, David Moore and Terry Fell all retired as Angling Trust Board members at the AGM, but were appointed as Vice Presidents of the Angling Trust to reflect the unique role that they all played in bringing together the many founding organisations as part of the unification of angling that happened in 2009 to form the Angling Trust & Fish Legal. Terry Fell has also stepped down as a Fish Legal Committee member.

    George Stephenson, Chairman of the Angling Trust said: “The vision, enthusiasm and bloody-minded determination of the Angling Trust’s founding Directors to succeed created a very impressive platform from which we can hopefully expand and improve the world of fish and fishing in our country. I’m delighted that they will become the inaugural Vice Presidents of the Angling Trust, and we will no doubt continue to seek their wisdom and advice. On behalf of the members of the Angling Trust I would like to thank them unconditionally for all they have done to unify angling, as unpaid volunteers, over the past years.”

    Dick Vincent, Chairman of Fish Legal said: “I am very pleased that Tim Goode has been elected by the members to the Fish Legal Committee. I’m sure that his skills and experience will be very valuable to us, particularly with regard to management of investment funds. He joins a Committee which comprises a number of very committed and knowledgeable volunteers who support the work of Fish Legal. I would like to thank Terry Fell for his distinguished service on the Committee since 2009 and wish him all the best for his retirement!”

    The short biographies of the new Directors and Committee Members are provided below.

    Biographies

    NIGEL HAYWOOD (Angling Trust)

    Retired after 30 years in the Diplomatic Service, most recently serving as Ambassador to Estonia; Consul-General in Basra; and Governor of the Falkland Islands. He has negotiated effectively at the highest political levels and has broad media experience.

    Nigel has been a sea, coarse and game angler for more than 50 years, and a life member of the ACA/Angling Trust for nearly 30 years, serving on the ACA Council from 1989 to 1996. He has written for a variety of angling publications, both print and online, and contributed to Merlin Unwin’s “The One that Got Away”.

    A keen saltwater fly fisherman, Nigel is also a member of various trout syndicates as well as BASS, the Wild Trout Trust, the Civil Service Angling Society and the Frome, Piddle and West Dorset Fisheries Association. Nigel is the Honorary President of the Golden Scale Club.

    TIM MACPHERSON (Angling Trust)

    Has 15 years’ experience as a senior executive in two major media companies, as a profit centre head, publisher, event director and company director. His experience covers PR, marketing, event organising, advertising, digital media, design, sales and advertising across digital and print media.

    Tim runs digital publishing outlets for anglers, creating and delivering content for anglers in Sussex including newsletters, web content, video and other assets.

    Tim has been an angler, in all disciplines, from age 11 although he spends most of his time sea angling in Sussex and Cornwall. He is a member of four Sussex Angling Clubs and spent a brief time working for the Trust after it launched.

    TIM GOODE (Fish Legal)

    Has over 30 years’ experience in the banking and investment industry and has worked for a number of major banks. Over the past 12 years, Tim has established an FSA authorised boutique investment bank specializing in finance, debt covering and advisory matters for clients in the UK, Europe, the US and Asia.

    Tim holds a number of Non-Executive roles including that as Chair of the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (UK),the UK arm of the global conservation coalition, through which he is involved in fundraising and negotiations with other parties including government. Tim is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Corporate Treasurers and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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