Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:35 pm

Top bloke, is Leon. :D

An old hand at campaigning on behalf of recreational sea anglers by now. Starting from a very demoralising and disillusioning position just a few short years ago, he and a couple of other dedicated anglers are the men English govt Ministers contact when they consider the future of fish/fishing/angling in the UK to hear their point of view.

If you want some advice on how to get organised, what to do, how to do etc etc he's the man to ask.

Thoroughly nice chap that he is too, I bet he'll drop by here if I ask him nicely...... :wink:

Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:20 am

My ears have been burning :)

(Thanks for the invite Tanglerat)

I thought that I'd start off another thread 'Bringing about Change' rather than take this one off topic, so see you over there (once I've posted!).

But back to the original subject - Decommissioning.

Yes, for the stocks, it's always good news when fishing boats are taken out of action, but unfortunately it's not as good as many imagine.

As other posters have stated, part of the problem is with quota.

Each Fishery Minister fights hard for as much quota as can be wrung out of the EU for his/her nation's fleet, regardless of what the scientific advice at the time may be.

And they fiercely try to hang onto that quota with bargaining and pleading.

And they will point out all the conversation measures that they have undertaken, justifying why they need that quota so that 'livelihoods' (profits) can be protected.

Those conservation measures will include fleet reductions.

'We have already reduced our fleet by x number of boats, our remaining fishermen need that quota to survive'!

But that is something of a magician's trick.

Look at old film of the fishing industry.

Fleets of trawlers packed with men.

Those boats couldn't catch much, they took a long time to reach the grounds, then they had to find the fish. Their gear was inefficient and all of those men were needed to hand-haul the nets, clean and pack the fish for the long journey back.

Harbours packed with boats and towns packed with fishing families.

It is technology that has changed all of that.

Boats get faster, have modern navigation and fish-finding aids.

Gear and it's deployment is a science now, with multiple nets often being towed together, the catch winched aboard by machines.

One modern trawler can do the work of many older boats, one fisherman needed when many hands were once needed.

Modern monofilament gill netting can catch more fish, for more time and in more circumstances than the old nets that were once used and, being much lighter and as dry when it comes out of the water as when it went in, not to mention cheaper, small boats can deploy and handle many kilometres of the stuff.

And that 'technological creep' (more like a stampede!) hasn't stopped, it continues.

So don't be fooled with talk of 'half the boats now compared with ten years ago'. Those new boats have more fish killing power, so the numbers may have halved but the efficiency has more than doubled.

So, when a boat gets decommissioned, the quota for the national fleet stays the same, decommissioning money is re-invested in modernisation, and nothing much changes, as far as conservation is concerned.

But it's not all bad news.

The problems are being recognised, and there are signs that they are being dealt with by reformation within the Common Fisheries Policy.

The failures of 'Quota management' are recognised, and other restrictions - closed areas, limitation of effort (days at sea etc) are being used more.

But changes only happen when there is recognised 'political will' to bring about change, and the growing Recreational Sea Angling lobby is part of the mechanism that is bringing about that change.

But it will only continue to do so, if individual anglers play their part!

And now I'm going off topic, so see you over on 'Bringing About Change'

Tight Lines - leon

Wed Jul 20, 2005 11:02 am

This is why I feel justified in being a cynic sometimes....read the whole document at:

http://www.dcmnr.gov.ie/CMSWeb/Template ... NT=Guest#1

Unless I missed it, recreational anglers were not on the consultation list...

Sustainable Development of Sea Fishing Industry
Policy Statement by Minister Dermot Ahern
on future directions for the sustainable development of the Sea Fishing industry
June 2004

Plan to Deliver Sustainable Fishing for Whitefish fleet

The Irish whitefish fleet has changed considerably for the better in recent years. Under the Whitefish Renewal and Modernisation programmes of recent years, investment of close to ?200 million was supported with EU and national grant aid that delivered a modern, efficient whitefish fleet. This fleet has the potential, for the first time ever, for Irish fishermen to compete on a truly international scale......

So, decomission 45 million euro worth to replace it with 200 million euro worth. Some future...

I cannot understand commerical interests

Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:37 pm

These guys must know they are destroying there own and children's future livelihoods. Is it that they hope to get a big pay off from the EU to retire comfortably and dream about the good old days or what are they up to? I cannot believe they are that thick or short sighted, are they just trying to make a lot of money quickly before they know the whole thing goes wallop or do they really believe they can go on like this! The fishing industry is damn strange, no other business would be ran like this as who would want to run there own livelihood's to the ground. If you look at other areas governed by the EU its very difficult to step out of line because there are so many checks and counter checks, but commercial fishing seems to be local politics gone mad, where everyone gets there say and often there way, without looking at it from a central perspective. If you really think about it the EU should be the ideal way of controlling sea fishing, the fish don't know what waters there in and many species do move regularly across international waters, but its just a mess. Despite seeing many reports especially in the UK where they want to take back control I don't see it would help as so called foreign boats would pick up everything outside their jurisdiction, and the UK would not I assume be able to a damn thing about it. At least that prospect exists currently even though its not happening.

When you think that the quota system is bringing certain species to extinction because the political commercial lobby continues to ignore scientific advise (that is already likely to be underestimating the true extent of any fish population - because they cannot factor in unscrupulous behavior), just add in the black economy. How many fish are been illegally landed, discarded, transferred at sea between boats registered in different countries you begin to get a better understanding of the whole situation.

s*** it doesn't look good, I will be mullet fishing yet.

Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:09 pm


But I've had a look at Leon's (hi and welcome, Leon - good post, btw) article on how to complain or campaign or whatever you want to call it and it all makes sound sense to me. Like I said earlier, angling is not getting a look in when it comes to policy input on issues that affect us now and into the future.

The way to do this is to develop a political lobby group who as Leon says can easily refute any allegations that angling is small numbers, low economic value, fragmented, disorganised losers in oilskins. To do that there needs to be a groundswell of discontent from the wider angling community - ie us. In the UK they do seem to have at least got a seat at the table, whatever about clout, whereas in Ireland we get to lick the few scraps that fall off it.

I'd be happy spamming everyone by email, snailmail etc in any department I thought might help, on a daily or weekly basis. Doubtless if 515 members of this site sent a couple of letters/emails a week to the tourist board, dept of the marine etc outlining the abuses we see, the policies we want to have an input to, the money we spend etc the message will eventually filter through the few thick skulls that run this country that we are a force which cannot be easily dismissed.

We should be soliciting the same aid from charter boat skipper, tackle shops, accomodation providers, other angling associations nationally and internationally. Anyone with something to lose if angling goes belly up - which it will without fish - unless the LSD somehow becomes a highly desirable target species anyway.

I feel that Leon also has a good point about a more individualised approach to letter writing etc. My only addition here would be that it'd maybe be an idea if we all sang from the same hymn sheet to a certain extent. To do this it'd be good to see a checklist of issues we should be bringing up, reminders to say how much you spend anually on angling, right down to fuel for the car, bait, accomodation, tackle etc. So maybe a framework for letterwriting rather than the same boilerplate letter from everyone would be the way to go.

I'm sort of hoping to see how other members of the site feel about this approach.....

Report of nets

Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:10 pm

I would just like to say that I have heard of ILLEGAL netting taking place at the estuary in Clones, Wexford for Bass and Sea Trout. I've never been to Clones so I don't even know if an estuary exists. Anyway, can anyone confirm if these reports may be true and if so who are the people it can be reported to. I would really like to do my bit for the future of sea angling.

Thanks Leon

Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:18 pm

Hello Leon,

Thank you very much for joining our web site and honouring us by sharing your valuable and priceless information. I will go to your thread to see what exactly I can do about it.

Many many thanks,
John D

I see Sandman

Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:20 pm

I see what you mean Sandman.
Point well taken (re: cynic).

John D

Wed Jul 20, 2005 2:56 pm

As Leon says, everyone can help in some way. Maybe my talent for ranting can be used for good for a change :lol:

I liked the bit in his article about just going fishing helping the cause of making sea angling an important issue. I wonder if the Fishery Prevention Officer (aka my wife) would be less likely to object if I said I was off to save the seas rather than off fishing... :idea:

Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:47 pm

Hi Leon,

Thanks for dropping by. :D

Excellent Sandman

Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:26 pm

You've got some good ideas there Sandman

Good stuff!!!

John D

Thu Jul 21, 2005 4:19 pm

Thanks John D,

I have a few more ideas of my own but I'd like to solicit a lot more opinion. Only thing is I'm bothered about not turning the Q/A forums into a morass of stuff about conservation and politics etc - that don't relate to the serious business of chasing fish. :? If some of the Moderators want to jump in here as regards maybe setting up a seperate forum? There does seem to be a fair level of interest.....