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Press Release: 24.01.09

24th January 2009

Sheppey’s sea angling tradition under threat.

Sheppey’s sea angling tradition could be under threat from new EU proposals.

This week the EU’s Fisheries Committee has been discussing a proposal to extend the Common Fisheries Policy to include recreational anglers. Island fishermen who go out in small boats, or who fish from the seafront will be required to purchase licences and to log every fish they catch.

Currently most sea anglers return most of their catches to the water, keeping only a handful for themselves. However, if the European Commission gets its way anglers will be forced to land every tiddler they catch and count the number of fish against the national quota.

Gordon said:

‘This is a quite ludicrous proposal that if introduced could spell the end of recreational sea angling as we know it. Having to conform to this new EU bureaucracy could well persuade some anglers to give up the sport and put off new members from joining.

‘I know that British and Irish MEPs put up a defence for anglers at the Fisheries Committee, demolishing every point in the Commission’s case.

‘Unfortunately, it appears that the Commissioner continues to insist that the measures are necessary for fish conservation.

‘The Common Fisheries Policy has decimated Britain’s fishing industry and I didn’t think the situation could get any worse. Then this stupid proposal comes along.

‘I hope that anglers will join me in putting pressure on the Government to stamp on this proposal before legislation is introduced.’

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