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Martin James award-winning fisherman consultant,broadcaster,writer


On behalf of the bass - please support this proposed bylaw

The North Western Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NWIFCA) is currently consulting on a new bylaw that will make it illegal to fish by any method and for any species of marine fish within the bass nursery area located at the power station outfall at Heysham on the coast of Lancashire.

The current legislation allows angling from the shore within the bass nursery area. Any bass caught from the shore above the legal minimum size of 36cm may be legally retained - although recreational anglers are asked, and expected, to voluntarily return all bass caught within a bass nursery area.

This new proposal is in response to the alleged damage to bass stocks from both the retention of undersized bass and the damage incurred to bass returned from a high seawall; Both rod and line and netting from the shore have been identified as the methods used.

The IFCA expects the bylaw, if implemented and enforced, to result in a benefit to the commercial and recreational fishing sectors with more catching opportunities for bass at, or above, the current legal size throughout the district. However, this bylaw will result in a ban on all forms of fishing - including recreational angling - within the bass nursery area.

This is your opportunity to provide the Angling Trust with feedback on the bylaw before we submit our response to the IFCA.

Please reply to this email (using with your answers to the following questions about the bylaw before Friday February 15th at the latest.

1. Do you fish in the Heysham bass nursery area?

2. Have you witnessed the removal of significant quantities of undersized bass from the Heysham bass nursery area?

3. Do you, or anyone you know, fish for any species, other than bass, within the Heysham bass nursery area?

4. Do you object to the bylaw banning fishing of any kind and for any fish species within the Heysham bass nursery area?

5. Any other comments?

Martin James Fishing