Dear anglers,

Over the last months we have received many mails and letters from concerned anglers in the UK and France on the need to further protect sea bass so that we can rebuild this precious fish stock. The European Commission had made a proposal with concrete measures and this proposal was discussed by the Fisheries Ministers from all 28 EU Member States on Monday and Tuesday this week at a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Brussels. The Council has taken a decision on the Commission’s proposal and for 2016 we will now have further measures in place. These cover:

  • A fishing closure for all vessels, except for hooks and lines and set gillnets, from 1 Jan to 30 June 2016. During this closure trawlers and seiners are allowed to have 1% of their catches made up of unavoidable catches of sea bass so as to avoid having to throw overboard small amounts of sea bass that is caught in the nets and is already dead.
  • A fishing closure for hooks, lines and set gillnets for February and March and a 1,3 tonne monthly catch limit for 2016 for these vessels outside the closed period.
  • A 1 tonne monthly catch limit for 1 July to 31 December for all other vessels.
  • A fishing closure in waters around Ireland for the whole of 2016.
  • For recreational anglers a catch and release fishery for the 1st half of the year and a 1 fish bag limit for the second half of the year.

These measures a far reaching and will over time help to bring sea bass back to previous high levels. We would like to sincerely thank all recreational anglers that have written to the European Commission and to the Ministers of various Member States.

Your interest is a living proof to us that Europe’s citizens  genuinely care about the decisions that are taken in Brussels and want to contribute to the decision making process and we in the European Commission are heartened by this.

We would like to wish you all A Merry Christmas and a relaxing end of year time with your families.

Yours sincerely

Bernhard Friess
Director for the Atlantic and Outermost Regions
European Commission
1049 Brussels