November 2014 – News

The sea fishing news this month has been dominated by bass. The European Commission reiterated their warning that bass stocks were in serious decline, and put forward a number of measures to combat the problem. One of these ideas – to limit recreational anglers to catching one bass a day – has caused immense angler within the angling community. Anglers out forward the argument that it is commercial fishing by French, British and other EU trawlers which has massively depleted bass stocks, and limiting the number of bass anglers catch is both disproportionate and deeply unfair. It was also claimed that the European Commission had completely failed to acknowledge the huge amount of investment and employment that angling generation when putting forward their idea for a limit. The bass limit will be discussed in December and could potentially come into force in early 2015. Read more about this story by clicking here.

There were calls this month for better protection of the large predators found in the seas around Britain. The Wildlife Trust claimed that creatures such as sharks, whales and other large predators were at risk due to overfishing, boat traffic and the expansion of marine developments. They wanted to see seventeen additional protected zones created around the UK to help protect these species. See a video on this issue by clicking here.

One of the most famous names in the world of tuna spoke out this month about the future of the species. Jiro Ono is an 89-year old sushi master who owns Sukiyabashi Jiro, a world-renowned restaurant with three Michelin stars which was the topic of the 2011 film Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Ono said that the growing demand for sushi was sending tuna to the brink of extinction. “I told my young men [sons] three years ago sushi materials will totally change in five years … And now, such a trend is becoming a reality little by little.” In related news it was revealed that ICCAT (The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas) raised the quotas for many tuna species across the world, with threatened Mediterranean tuna having their quota increased by 20% for this year and the same again for the following two years. ICCAT also failed to implement an electronic tracking system which would help reduced illegal fishing of tuna. It is not difficult to see why the organisation is often referred to as the International Conspiracy to Catch All Tuna. Read more about Jiro Ono’ remarks here, and more about ICCAT and tuna quotas here.

Finally the French authorities were forced to close a beach on the Mediterranean coast due to the threat of an exploding whale. The fifteen-ton carcass had washed up at Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer, near Montpellier and rapidly inflated with methane as the whale decomposed, causing the caracass of the whale to swell up. It was feared that the whale could eventually explode with potentially lethal consequences for anyone standing nearby, meaning the beach had to be closed. Read more by clicking here.