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Anglers asked to log catches

PUBLISHED: 09:03 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:53 03 July 2010

RETURNS from local beaches have plunged, possibly due to the sizeable cod heading for their local spawning grounds.

Even so quite a number of small non-spawning fish up to 2lb have been taken from beaches south of the town with marks between Hopton and Lowestoft producing up to a dozen pan sized specimens, writes Roy Webster.

RETURNS from local beaches have plunged, possibly due to the sizeable cod heading for their local spawning grounds.

Even so quite a number of small non-spawning fish up to 2lb have been taken from beaches south of the town with marks between Hopton and Lowestoft producing up to a dozen pan sized specimens, writes Roy Webster.

On the fresh water scene the main tournament last weekend was the first round of the Barford Winter League for teams of five. Browning/Pownalls claimed third place with 25 section points behind Barford Tackle, 15 and Anglers World, 21.

Top Pownalls performer was Brian Gooch, who filled third spot and scored maximum section points with his catch of 52lb 15oz.

Other match results: Pownalls open (Topcroft): D Garton (Stalham) 22lb 2oz, B Burlton (Browning/Pownalls) 12lb 3oz. D Sparks (Browning/Pownalls) 8lb 7oz.

Burgh Castle open: D Ransome (Yarmouth) 10lb 12oz, L Arnold (Jollyboys) 7lb 13oz, D Grimwood (Norwich) 7lb 3oz.

Stalham, club lagoon: C Jonas 9lb 2oz, D Egerton 7lb 11oz, M Brown 6lb 7oz.

The Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences (CEFAS) is hoping to persuade sea anglers to log details of their catches to provide a fair assessment of the impact of rod and line fishing on threatened sea fish species.

This move comes following European fishery bosses' proposals to include recreational anglers in the catch quota regulations, at present in force for the trawling industry only.

CEFAS wants direct input into this controversy at the end of the three-year survey of beach and boat angling but it is acknowledged this cannot be achieved without some knowledge of the numbers of fish caught by anglers, including details of the species and weight during that period.

At present sea anglers are up in arms over the whole concept of the “article 47” plan which eventually will be voted on by the council of European fishery ministers, who at present have absolutely no evidence at all on whether the small number of fish caught by anglers compare with the hauls of the trawling industry.

“We are looking to collect log books from up to 1,000 sea anglers including those who fish from boat and beach. We also want returns from match fishermen and from novices,” declared a spokesman from CEFAS, Mike Smith.

Local anglers willing to take part in this survey should email rsadata@cefas.co.uk, possibly tempted by the promise of free entry into a prize draw which is the reward for those who complete an annual return.

Tony Thomas, who organises the majority of league and open events as well as fishing for the pot along the east coast, was forcefully dismissive of the idea that anglers would be keen to maintain a catch log.

“The fishery ministers have just upped the cod quotas by nearly one third for the commercial trawling industry, and a direct result of that will be to reduce our rod and line sport. First they wanted us to be included in the statutory rod licence scheme, then we were being urged to fork out £20 per annum to join the new angling trust for no apparent reward, and now they want us to become involved in another bird-brained scheme that could result in keeping us off the beaches once we have filled catch quotas.”

He concluded: “I do not know of a single angler who is likely to have any truck with this latest survey.”


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