Following the December Council of Fisheries Minister of the European Union we expect the following bass measures in 2019:
- For recreational fisheries, including from shore, in ICES divisions 4b, 4c, 6a, 7a to 7k: a bag limit of one fish per day from 1 April to 31 October 2019
- For any commercial fisheries in ICES divisions 4b, 4c, 7d, 7e, 7f and 7h and in waters within 12 nautical miles from baselines under the sovereignty of the United Kingdom in ICES divisions 7a and 7g:
Only fishing vessels with a bass authorisation issued by the MMO based on a track record of bass landings in the reference period 1 July 2015 to 30 September 2016 or a bass authorisation obtained via transfer onto a replacement vessel with no increase in tonnage or engine power will be able to land bass.
Moreover, bass will continue not to be subject to the landings obligation. Any bass caught that is above the quantity a vessel is authorised to land must be discarded.
A total closure period for months of February and March 2019 will apply to all methods of fishing.
What is more, there will be changes to the limits that can be landed by authorised vessels:
- Change for trawl by-catch with an increased by-catch cap (though the 1% per day remains in place). The cap (increased from the 100kg per month this year) is for 400kg over 2 months;
- Change for seines – increase in the monthly cap from 180kg to 210 kg, and the 1% per day limit still applies;
- Increase for hook and line from 5 tonnes to 5.5 tonnes per annum;
- Fixed gillnetting – increase from 1.2 tonnes to 1.4 tonnes in 2019.
You can see the 2018 bass guidance for more information.