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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 172126, tabled on 19 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will take steps to preserve bass stocks by (a) tackling illegal targeting by commercial boats and (b) limiting the use of inshore netting.

Answered on

29 March 2021

Steps have already been taken to preserve bass stocks.

We have ensured the current bass management approach to address commercial fishing pressure has been achieved by applying landing limits under specific fishing gear type derogations for both UK and EU vessels. These limits are closely monitored and actively enforced by the Marine Management Organisation.

Ensuring the current annual unavoidable by-catch limit for fixed gillnetters at 1.4 tonnes is adhered to is a key enforcement priority. This approach has reduced UK bass landings from inshore netting by up to 70% in recent years.