Press release

New sea bass stock protection measures

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The European Commission has announced emergency measures to protect sea bass stocks.

As of today (28 January) fishermen using pelagic trawls will not be able to target sea bass. This follows emergency measures announced by the European Commission to prevent fishing from the southern North Sea in the east round the south coast of England to the Irish Sea in the west.

These closures will now be in place until the end of April and follow sustained lobbying from the UK government for action across Europe to improve bass numbers and fish more sustainably.

Bass are in serious decline and there is a vital need to reduce fishing to prevent the collapse of stocks. The UK government is delighted that the European Commission has implemented emergency measures to protect bass stocks – especially during the crucial spawning season.

Member States are also committed to look at securing a wider package of measures to protect bass over the next few weeks.

Fisheries Minister George Eustice welcomed today’s news:

Today’s measures demonstrate that real action is being taken to protect bass stocks. The UK has consistently argued that there is a need to reduce fishing pressure to protect concentrations of fish during the spawning season and prevent the collapse of stocks - the science is unequivocal.

I am therefore delighted the European Commission has closed bass fisheries to avert the collapse of declining stocks. To build on this success I hope we can achieve agreement with other Member States on a wider package of measures that achieves a balanced approach, reflecting the contribution of both commercial fisheries and recreational anglers to declining bass numbers.

For more information:

Full details on the emergency measures are available here