Please help to protect the Irish bass stocks

There is a worrying proposal being put forward by the Federation of Irish Fisherman (FIF) to go and allow commercial fishing vessels to land bass that are caught in offshore fisheries, and they claim that the 2007 CEFAS report states that this offshore fishery is in a healthy state. But the report does not say this.

And I quote from IrishBass.org : "In addition the FIF propose that they alone engage with the Marine Institute under the Industry/Science partnership in an assessment of the Irish inshore bass stock with regard to future exploitation. IrishBass.org believes the FIF proposal poses very significant risks to inshore Irish bass stocks."

The thought of such an inshore bass fishery as they have over in Ireland being opened up to full-scale commercial exploitation just does not bear contemplation. If you go fishing in Ireland, you will know what I mean about their stunning coastline offering some of the best bass fishing there is - and if you don't go there for the fishing, then you should think about going. But whatever your status on fishing in Ireland, please do what you can here to help prevent these fisheries from being trashed. Sport fishing is vital to a country like Ireland - think about what you spend on a trip over there, and then think about the numbers of anglers who head over there every year. Without a doubt there are more people heading over there for the bass fishing alone. Less fish means less anglers, and less anglers means less tourism money going into their economy. Less fish has effects way beyond the more obvious repercussions......

IrishBass.org has laid out a load more details and concerns right here.

Here's what to do for starters - click on this link here, it's an online petition, and just fill out the boxes on the screen. I am not sure how useful these things are, but it can't hurt. Then do all you can to raise awareness on any fishing forums you might belong to.

The most important thing is to write a letter that states your concerns about any threat to Irish bass stocks - send it to this address : Mr. C. Lenihan, Minister for State. Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, Ireland. (check here for further details). Please, please take the time to do this. Anglers need to stand up and do all they can to take some kind of responsibility for what is going on, and at the very least it's vital that the bass stocks in Irish waters are afforded the highest degree of protection possible. If a country is helped along the way to recognising that recreational angling really does have intrinsic value to the economy as a whole, who knows where ideas like this might lead....................