October 2015 – News

This month British Sea Fishing received the new book by the eminent angling journalist Mike Thrussell. Addicted to Angling tells the story of Mike’s obsession with angling and the huge range of fish he has caught over his career. The book can be bought from Amazon by clicking here.

A fisherman caught a two-metre long porbeagle shark off a popular Dorset beach this month. Jan Davey had set a trammel nets around 300 yards off Chesil Beach and found the shark had been accidentally caught in the nets when he went to haul them in. The shark was brought back to shore and Mr. Davey said that it was already dead when he discovered it. On being identified the shark was taken back out to sea and disposed of, as it is illegal to intentionally catch or retain porbeagle sharks. See pictures of the porbeagle shark here.

A similar story came from New Zealand this month, although this one had a happier ending for the shark. Two fishermen, Daniel McDonald and his brother-in-law George Eivers, were bringing in a craypot in waters off Bare Island to the north of New Zealand when they realised that a great white shark had managed to get its tail caught in the ropes of the pot. Despite the shark putting up a struggle at the surface the two fishermen were able to release the shark from the ropes and it saw away “quite happily” according to Mr. McDonald. See pictures and a video of the incident here.

The UK-based food company John West Foods came in for heavy criticism this month when it was revealed that they had failed to keep their promises on sustainable fishing. It was revealed that John West had dropped a pledge to catch their tuna with exclusively sustainable methods by the end of 2017. Indeed, a Greenpeace study found that only 2% of John West’s tuna came from sustainable pole and line caught methods and the rest used hugely damaging FADs (Fish Aggregating Devices) which see creatures such as turtles, sharks and dolphins being caught in the nets. It is estimated that around 100,000 tons of bycatch are caught in fisheries which use FADs. Greenpeace also placed John West in last place in a list of sustainable fishing companies and called on UK supermarkets to boycott John West products until they improved their fishing methods. Read The Telegraph’s take on this story by clicking here.

News emerged this month that commercial fishermen in the UK would be given more freedom to deal with the forthcoming discards ban. Fisheries minister George Eustice revealed that fishermen would be able to bank or borrow quota to given them more flexibility to adapt to the new legislation. The UK commercial fishing industry – which has mostly been hostile to the ban on throwing perfectly edible fish away – welcomed the news. The discard ban for pelagic fish (mackerel and herring) came into force in January of this year, and demersal fish (cod, haddock and plaice) will be covered by the ban from January of next year. Read the BBC news article on this story by clicking here.

Finally, a tourist took a picture of a so far unidentified ‘sea monster’ off the coast of Corfu this week. Harvey Robertson, 52, held his camera over the side of the boat he was in and took several photographs when they were in a cave. He did not realise the significance of the photograph until returning home. The creature, which has been compared to a hippopotamus, dolphin and mythical sea creature has been captured in several photos. See the pictures by clicking here.