Just signed up, Nigel. It's madness to just ditch that fish. I think trawling is fatally flawed full stop, bet one step at a time.
If the Norwegians and Icelanders can manage their white fish stocks sustainably, why can't we??
I'm sure this is not just restricted to the North sea. I bear witness to several incidents of law breaking and wrong doing by trawlers coming inshore too far and also inshore craft blatantly grabbing what they can before anyone notices. This year alone I have reported 6 different incidents. As a wandering lure fisherman after a bass for the sport mainly with the occasional one for the table I have been left thinking who will or who can do anything about this smash and grab mentality. One such incident worried me the most when I witnessed a small dory size boat pay out a net from one point of a small bay to the other then with the boat on the inside of the net went careering round at full pelt flushing all the bass into the net. They then hauled the net and I counted 15 good size bass from one haul. From start to finish it took 15 mins to wipe out the whole bay. The thing that upset me was I was fishing in that bay at the time and the boat then proceeded to work the same technique along a 3mile stretch of coast paying out the net at least 10 times. They call it "splashing" I call it slaughter.
As much as trawlers plainly rape pillage and burn the sea bed which needs to stop there are just as many offenses committed by a greater number of small inshore craft occurring along side the offshore problem.
I total agree with you there luke i have witnessed the same thing in our area many times over the years and it does have a damaging effect to the shore fishing. Some times it can be monthe before you will catch a bass in the area that has been pillaged. What we can do is report these actions and hope that something will be done about it.