European fisheries managers want to bring sea anglers into line with commercial fishermen under the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy. That could mean restrictions such as bag limits, quotas, and even bans on targeting species that are subject to recovery plans, such as Cod. It could also mean levels of regulation never seen before in the UK, such as licences, log books and registration schemes. Defra and Cefas have been tasked with collecting the data that the EU requires.
The message that RSA-UK wants to get out to the sea angling population is, Defend your Sport, Tell them Nothing. RSA-UK founding member, Bob Shotter, says, “We want people to know that they are under no obligation to cooperate with, or contribute to, Defra’s Sea Angling 2012 scheme. In fact, we would like to see anglers directly oppose the scheme as we believe the data gathered will be used to the detriment of our sport”. The organisation wants to see all sea anglers unite against what it sees as an erosion of the right to enjoy their sport unhindered by layers of pointless restrictions, regulations and EU driven bureaucracy.
Co-founder of RSA-UK, Barry Luxton, says, “The Common Fisheries Policy has been a disaster for fish stocks and the fishermen who rely on healthy stocks to make a living. Why any sea angler would want to become embroiled in the same level of incompetence and micro management, is beyond me. By providing the data that the EU requires, sea anglers could, unknowingly, be contributing to the end of sea angling as we know it”.