The European Council of Ministers has dealt a body-blow to the recreational fishing industry by banning anglers from taking a single sea bass home for the table next year.
However, there is a glimmer of hope for recreational fishermen as the Commission will review its decision when updated scientific advice will be issued which will take into account the impact of the restrictions on recreational fishing.
After an all-night meeting last week the Commission has restricted angling for bass in the Celtic Sea, English Channel, Irish Sea and Southern North Sea to catch and release only. A lower daily bag limit will be enforced in the Bay of Biscay.
While not unexpected, the decision will come as a setback for EFTTA and the European Anglers Association (EAA) which had campaigned tirelessly against any such ban. It organised a petition, which was supported by over 10,000 signatures, calling for a rollover of this year's measures into 2018 with regard to recreational fishing for northern bass.
This included no retention of bass for the first six months and a one-day bag limit for the second half.