MP heralds new ban on sea bass trawling

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A BAN on trawling for sea bass around the UK during their spawning period has been welcomed by Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery.

Mr Hollingbery, who is chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Angling Group, has campaigned on the issue at Westminster and the European Commission has now agreed to the measure that is aimed at stopping the collapse of stocks.

The ban on pelagic trawling, which accounts for 25 per cent of the impact on the stock, will begin immediately in the English Channel, Celtic Sea, Irish Sea and southern North Sea and run until 30th April – the period when adult bass reproduce and are most vulnerable.

Recreational bass anglers face a three fish a day bag limit under the measures and an increase in the legal minimum size from 36cm to 42cm.

The exploitation of sea bass has increased in recent years with current landings running at about four times the levels of the early 1990s.

Mr Hollingbery said: ‘This announcement really is fantastic news.’