Wales politics

Bass fishing ban by EU sparks industry anger in Wales

Sea bass

Plans for an European Union ban on bass fishing for six months from January has prompted an angry reaction from a group representing more than 80 commercial fishing boats in Wales.

The European Commission said the ban was needed to help halt a "dramatic decline" in stocks.

Stephen De-Waine from the West Wales Shellfishermen's Association said it would have "devastating" consequences.

He has written to Welsh Euro-MPs urging them to fight to stop the ban.

A statement on proposed EU fishing quotas said sea bass was a "special case", and extra measures were needed to "halt the dramatic decline in this important stock".

The commission proposed a complete ban on sea bass fishing for commercial vessels and recreational anglers for the first six months of 2016.

For the second half of the year, a one tonne catch limit for boats and a one fish bag limit for recreational anglers was recommended.

The commission also proposes to maintain the closure for commercial fishing around Ireland.

In the letter to Euro-MPs, Mr De-Waine said: "It will have devastating economic consequences for not only Welsh fishermen, some of who rely totally on catching bass for a living, but also with all the fish buyers and businesses which provide fishermen with consumable and non-consumable goods to support their businesses."

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