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The proposals are designed to help protect the interests of commercial fishermen, rectify the disparity in the current situation
:rofl: :rofl:

Sorry for finding that hysterical !!! But you gotta either laugh or cry at something that outrageously 'out of touch' !! Hopefully you Jersey lads will point out the commercial value to the Island of the recreational fishing, and the fact that some of us actually come over there specifically for the fishing, spending a pretty-penny in the local economy in the process !!!

It seems to me that they are insinuating that the reason for the bag-limit is that so-called recreational anglers are selling their catches on 'illegally' ?? Well in my mind, they are actually talking about cowboy-commercials, not 'recreational' anglers. Best they deal with that issue!!

The actual issue of bag limits for recreational anglers is not one that i have an issue with by the way. I'm sure that just about all of us would be very satisfied with 5 fish in a session ! But FFS, let's have more protection from the commercials, and some additional political awareness of the damage being done, and the longer-term benefits of recreational angling.
 

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Couldn't have put it better myself Simon.....



Seems that even that far away from us the "British way" still manages to show its ugly head. Instead of solving the problem by getting to the root cause and punishing the offenders...why not just ban it or restrict it for everyone else who are not guilty of anything......It's even more laughable that they are trying to protect the fish by limiting anglers and not the netters...
 

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Response to Scrutiny Panel report

Having read the Scrutiny Panel report and seen that Dr. Bossy recently stated that our 'sea food sources are in good condition', I feel that there are several issues that are of concern. I wrote the following letter to Deputy Duhamel who is the minister responsible for Fisheries, I have precised it a bit in order to fit on this forum.

Dear Deputy Duhamel

You may be aware of the recent publication of the Scrutiny Panel final report on Bag Limits and a subsequent statement by the Senior Fisheries Officer, Dr. Bossy, regarding fish stocks.

Dr. Bossy, was quoted in the press on 16th April 2010 as saying that Jersey sources of sea food are in a good condition. This despite of an over 50% drop in wet fish being caught. Dr. Bossy puts the decrease down to laws requiring larger boats to fish outside of Jersey waters.

The Fisheries Annual Report for 2007 show bass catches down from 30. 952 tonnes in 2006 to 18.085 in 2007. In fact all the species caught show a marked decline, down 63 tonnes from 2006. Yet the report dismisses this as possibly being down to a new data gathering system.

The Fisheries Report for 2008 shows that bass catches had remained almost static with a slight rise to 18.564 tonnes. Although the 2009 report has yet to be released, following the recent comments by Dr. Bossy, I expect it will show another sharp decline.

In November 2009 I wrote to Dr. Bossy expressing my concern in relation to the depletion of bass stocks. I was prompted by an article which appeared in the JEP on 6th November 2009 entitled 'Leader of the Pack'. The article included comments from Louis Jackson of The Fresh Fish Company which supplies fish to the hotel and restaurant trade. He stated, " Numbers of wild fish are already declining quickly, and it's just a vicious circle. To us here, we consider the sea bass to be quite an iconic fish - it's what every rod fisherman wants to catch. But you do worry that if things don't change, there won't be any left to catch".

Mr. Jackson continued, " Ten years ago when we started this company, quantities of bass were quadruple what they are now, and we've noticed another big decline this year (2009). When we started, we'd virtually be turning fish away because there was so much of it, but things are very different now".

In his reply dated 12th November 2009, Dr. Bossy stated "Indeed it does seem that there are less fish around at the moment but whether this is due to local over fishing, over fishing elsewhere or just a change in stock due to environmental effects is unclear''.

Earlier in the year, Mr Mike Smith the Fisheries Inspector gave evidence to the scrutiny panel in relation to the proposed introduction of bag limits. Mr. Smith was asked by Deputy Labey about conservation measures (for bass). Mr Smith replied that there could be more conservation in place but felt he was not qualified to comment on their effectiveness. He went on to say that the Fisheries Panel had previously brought over a UK bass expert, at which time the bass fisheries were very strong. However Mr. Smith then stated "Since then I think it would be true to say that they have probably shown less strength and indeed this year the bass catches are particularly low".

Imagine my surprise to hear that Dr. Bossy now states that the sea food sources are in good condition. It would be of considerable interest to know how Dr. Bossy has come to this conclusion.

The Scrutiny Panel report recommends that "The responsible Minister should develop conservation policy around spawning and minimum fish sizes". This would impact on all sectors involved in fishing - recreational and commercial, but one supposes that if stocks are in 'good condition' there would be no need to develop such a policy. A closed season would of course allow more fish to spawn and an increase in minimum landing size would enable fish to grow to the necessary maturity to spawn at least once before they are caught and killed - essential for the continuation of stocks and therefore to the benefit of all.

As you are no doubt aware, the Assistant Minister for Economic Development withdrew the bag limit proposition without any advance warning. It is apparent that the bag limit proposal, put forward by the Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel, was aimed only at protecting the financial interests of the commercial fishermen.

The commercial sector claimed that unlicensed fishermen were illegally selling their catch to the detriment of their industry but produced no evidence to support this.

Almost all other countries which have adopted bag limits, have introduced them for conservation reasons - yet conservation was not the aim of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel. The fact that the proposal was supported by the Fisheries Department raises questions about the credibility of both parties.

I notice that the objectives of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel are:-

* To ensure sustainable use of the marine resources of the Bailiwick.

* To maximise overall benefits to the people of Jersey.

* To protect the marine environment.

I do not believe that some members of that panel are achieving these objectives.

Although the Scrutiny report is lengthy I have picked out some of the key points, which are detailed below for ease of reference.

Paragraph 3.2 -The Panel did not receive any convincing supporting evidence to quantify the impact the black fish market has on the commercial fishing industry.

How could this proposal be considered as viable without any evidence to support it ?

Paragraph 3.3 - The Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel played a pivotal role in the development of the Bag Limits proposals, however the Scrutiny Panel had serious concerns about the 'official' representation of leisure anglers on that Panel.

The Chairman of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Panel (Mike Taylor) accepts that there should have been wider consultation but stated '....sitting around the table I had people from Jersey Aquaculture, people from the Jersey Merchants, people from the inshore fishermen, angling representatives, boat owners representatives, people like Chris Newton, Mike Smith, people that know and enjoy amateur fishing, and there was no dissent. you know a good example is Chris Newton who has a boat at La Rocque and enjoys bass fishing. He had no problem with it whatsoever. (see paragraph 8.18).

Would that be the Mike Smith and Chris Newton that work for Fisheries Mr. Taylor ? (I understand that Chris Newton has since left the employ of the Fisheries Dept.)

KEY FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Paragraph 4.1 - The Assistant Minister for Economic Development withdrew the Bag Limits proposal without advance notice to the Scrutiny Panel.

In paragraph 4.22 the panel asks the minister to fully explain publicly his decision. This would be very interesting but will Mr. Norman comply, at the time of writing there has been no response from the minister.

Paragraph 4.2 - There was only limited evidence of any other jurisdiction proposing or introducing Bag Limits for the purpose of supporting a local commercial fishing industry.

America, New Zealand and Australia all have bag limits which were introduced for conservation purposes. Ireland has a bag limit of two fish per angler per day. Attempting to introduce bag limits for the financial benefit of a small minority reflects badly on all involved in it's conception.

Paragraph 4.5 - Stock controls being considered for the recreation sector must in future be accompanied by reasonable controls of the commercial sector.

Everyone must take some responsibility for conservation. There a still a large number of recreational fishermen who believe they have a right to take as many fish as they want, but unfortunately those days are gone.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Paragraph 4.23 - The responsible minister should develop conservation policy around spawning and minimum fish sizes.

This is vital if there is not to be a total collapse of our bass stocks. At present there is no protection for spawning fish and the current minimum landing size of 36cm means that fish are being taken before they are mature enough to spawn. In a response to my November email to Dr. Bossy (before he decided that stocks were in 'good condition') he claimed it was unclear why there were fewer fish around. Whilst in New Zealand recently, I spoke with a Fisheries Officer about our problem with Jersey's dwindling bass stocks. I explained that Jersey has no bag limits, no closed season and an insufficient minimum landing size, yet our Senior Fisheries Officer was 'unclear' as to the reason why there were fewer fish. The New Zealand officers response was "Well you wouldn't even needed to have gone to school to work that out".

I am not alone in my concerns, and I would very much like to receive your comments as regards to this present unsatisfactory situation.
 

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I had a brief email this morning in which he said he would raise the issues at a management meeting this morning and get back to me. I don't know what department this meeting refers to - presumably Fisheries.
 

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Very good Derek.There are other responses along the same lines being drafted including one from the Jersey recreational fishermans association.The J.R.F.A have a representaive on the sea fisheries advisory panel.
The more people who write in whether from Jersey,CI,UK or Europe the better.
 

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So much for Derek's letter it had an effect we got boarded by Fisheries today off Icho Tower but they did not seem to bother with any commercial boats
 

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It was nice to see that the HMS 9 to 5 had managed to find its way out of the harbour. After an in depth probing by Captain Smith - which consisted of him asking if we had caught anything and then having a cursory look into the boat - I was left with the satisfaction of knowing that our fish are safe with these tireless, dedicated Fisheries Officers who will no doubt manage their huge haul of two prosecutions again this year. Well done lads, it makes you feel proud.
 

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Derek do not upset fisheries I got boarded again today by fisheries the officer then recognised me from yesterday and said that he had left his notebook at home so could not check my registration number, god help our fish stocks
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Are they looking for recreational anglers with more than 5 bass??? It would be much more sensible to board a commercial and check every single fish on board. More fish to check. What is the point of targetting recreational only???
 

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keep it coming everyone is welcome and you do not have to live in Jersey just try and protect the area I am for min and max landing size
 
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