Council Regulation (EU) 2017/127 – Applicable to Bass

Council Regulation (EU) 2017/127 of 20 January 2017 fixing for 2017 the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks, applicable in Union waters and, for Union fishing vessels, in certain non-Union waters. Sections applicable to Bass. Read the regulation in full.

(8)

According to scientific advice, sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) in the Celtic Sea, Channel, Irish Sea and southern North Sea (ICES divisions IVb, IVc and VIIa, VIId–VIIh) remains in a perilous state and the stock continues to decline. The conservation measures to prohibit fishing for sea bass should therefore be maintained in ICES divisions VIIa, VIIb, VIIc, VIIg, VIIj and VIIk, with the exception of the waters within 12 nautical miles of the baseline under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. Spawning aggregations of sea bass should be protected with commercial catches restricted further in 2017. On the basis of social and economic impacts limited fisheries using hooks and lines should be permitted, while providing for a closure to protect spawning aggregations. Additionally, due to incidental and unavoidable by-catches of sea bass by vessels using demersal trawls and seines, such by-catches should be limited to 3 % of the weight of the total catch of marine organisms on board with a maximum of 400 kilograms per month. For the same reasons, for fixed gillnets by-catches should be limited to 250 kilograms per month. Catches of recreational fishermen from the Northern stock and, for precautionary reasons, from the stock in the Bay of Biscay should be restricted by a daily limit.

Article 9

Measures on Sea bass fisheries

1. It shall be prohibited for Union fishing vessels to fish for sea bass in ICES divisions VIIb, VIIc, VIIj and VIIk, as well as in the waters of ICES divisions VIIa and VIIg that are more than 12 nautical miles from the baseline under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom. It shall be prohibited for Union fishing vessels to retain on board, tranship, relocate or land sea bass caught in that area.

2. It shall be prohibited for Union fishing vessels as well as for any commercial fisheries from shore to fish for sea bass and to retain on board, relocate, tranship or land sea bass caught in the following areas:

(a) ICES divisions IVb, IVc, VIId, VIIe, VIIf and VIIh;
(b) waters within 12 nautical miles from baseline under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom in ICES divisions VIIa and VIIg.

By derogation from the first subparagraph, the following measures shall apply regarding sea bass in the areas referred to in that subparagraph:

(a) a Union fishing vessel deploying demersal trawls and seines (30) may retain on board unavoidable by-catches of sea bass that do not exceed 3 % of the weight of the total catches of marine organisms on board in any single day. The catches of sea bass retained on board by a Union fishing vessel on the basis of this derogation may not exceed 400 kilograms per month;
(b) in January 2017 and from 1 April to 31 December 2017, Union fishing vessels using hooks and lines (31), may fish for sea bass and retain on board, relocate, tranship or land sea bass caught in that area not exceeding 10 tonnes per vessel per year;
(c) Union fishing vessels using fixed gillnets (32) may retain on board unavoidable by-catches of sea bass not exceeding 250 kilograms per month.
The above derogations shall apply to Union fishing vessels that have recorded catches of sea bass over the period from 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2016: in point (b) with recorded catches using hooks and lines, and in point (c) with recorded catches using fixed gillnets.

3. The catch limits set in paragraph 2 shall not be transferable between vessels. Member States shall report to the Commission catches of sea bass per type of gear not later than 20 days after the end of each month.

4. From 1 January to 30 June 2017 in recreational fisheries in ICES divisions IVb, IVc, VIIa and from VIId to VIIh, only catch-and-release fishing for sea bass, including from shore, shall be allowed. During this period, it shall be prohibited to retain on board, relocate, tranship or land sea bass caught in that area.

5. In recreational fisheries, including from shore, not more than one specimen of sea bass may be retained per fisherman per day during the following periods and in the following areas:

(a) from 1 July to 31 December 2017 in ICES divisions IVb, IVc, VIIa and from VIId to VIIh;
(b) from 1 January to 31 December 2017 in ICES divisions VIIj and VIIk.

6. From 1 January to 31 December 2017 in recreational fisheries in ICES divisions VIIIa and VIIIb, a maximum of five fish per fisherman may be retained each day.

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