The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development provides a range of statistics covering agriculture, food, animal health, fisheries and forestry in Northern Ireland...... DARD “proposes to bring forward proposals for new Sea Bass regulations in the Northern Ireland zone
”. The introduction of regulations would also tie in with similar proposals being progressed by the Loughs Agency. The result would be a coherent conservation policy that would better protect Sea Bass throughout our coastal waters.
The Department would be interested in your views on our 6 proposals
(detailed below), especially any possible impacts you feel they may have on fishing businesses, the environment or other activities associated with fishing or angling.Proposal 1
A bag limit of 2 Bass retained over a 24-hour period – The fishery will be maintained as a recreational fishery and we believe that 2 Bass are sufficient for recreational purposes.Consultation Question
Do you agree that the retention of Bass over a 24-hour period should be capped at 2 and if not what do you believe the number should be?Proposal 2
A closed recreational angling season from the 15th May to the 15th June both dates inclusive–This is to protect spawning fish during the spawning season from May to June. Closing the fishery at this time will encourage an increase in stocks.Consultation Question
Do you agree that there should be a closed season and is May and June the best period for this closure?Proposal 3
Prohibition on first sale of Bass – This proposal would prevent the first sale of Bass i.e. from the catcher to the first buyer and will ensure that the fishery is available for recreational fishing and will prevent both recreational and commercial fishers from developing a trade in Bass resulting in increased landings above sustainable limits. Retail and wholesale sales of Sea Bass caught outside Northern Ireland would not be affected.Consultation Question
Do you agree that the first sale of Bass should be prohibited and if not, why not?
If you own or operate an hotel or restaurant do you currently serve Northern Ireland caught Sea Bass?
If you have answered yes to the above question would a ban on buying locally caught Sea Bass affect your business?Proposal 4
Prohibition on the retention of Bass less than 40cm length – As Bass are a slow growing fish this will allow more fish to reach maturity and contribute to the spawning stock for a longer time and thus increase the stock.Consultation Question
Do you agree that Bass less than 40cm should not be retained and, if not, what size do you suggest?Proposal 5
Prohibition of fishing for Bass, within the Northern Ireland zone by any means other than rod and line. – This measure prevents fishing by intensive methods such as trawling and drift netting. Intensive methods would encourage retention of fish above the bag limit and illegal sales of fish. Fish stocks will be conserved to a level that sustains a viable recreational fishery, which may increase tourism in coastal communities.Consultation Question
Do you agree with a prohibition on fishing for Bass by any means other than Rod and Line, if not, why not?Proposal 6
Prohibition on the retention on board of Bass by any UK sea fishing vessel within the Northern Ireland zone – This measure will ensure that Sea Bass are not retained on board any UK sea fishing vessel within the N Ireland zone. This measure will further discourage fishing for Bass by intensive methods and reduce the temptation to catch and sell Bass, helping to conserve Sea Bass stock.Consultation Question
Do you agree with a prohibition on retaining Bass on board any UK sea fishing vessel?Summary of 6 Proposals for Protection and Conservation of Sea Bass
1 A bag limit of 2 Bass retained over a 24-hour period
2 A closed recreational angling season;
3 Prohibition on the first sale of Bass
4 Prohibition on the retention of Bass less than 40cm in length;
5 Prohibition of fishing for Bass by any means other than rod and line;
6 Prohibition on the retention on board of Bass by any UK sea fishing vessel within the Northern Ireland zone.Sea Bass is important to our angling community and is considered a prize fishery by this group and sea angling for Sea Bass could provide an additional opportunity for the development of angling within some parts of our waters and could enhance income to our coastal communities through chartered fishing trips for both local and European fishers and an increase in angling tourism.Consultation
Following the consultation we will consider the responses before making final decisions on new measures.
The consultation will run from 2nd June to the 24th August 2010
and DARD would be interested in your views on the proposals contained in the attached consultation document.
Response should be sent to Dan McEvoy by email, fax or post.TO DOWNLOAD/PRINT YOUR RESPONSE CLICK HERETHEN SENDBy email to
: SeaFisheries@dardni.gov.ukBy fax to:
028 9037 8323By post to:
Upper Newtownards Road
BT3 4SBResponses received after the 24th August 2010 will not be considered.