UK Government Response to Article 47 Petition

by David Proudfoot

“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to resist the proposed changes from the EU in relation to Recreational Sea Angling (RSA).”

Details of Petition:

“The EU are proposing drastic changes to RSA by seeking to implement changes that will have devastating effects for already struggling & deprived coastal communities by placing major restrictions on Sea Angling. If allowed to happen, this will have a grave negative financial impact on the communities that depend on income generated from visiting anglers for their survival. Many jobs will be affected by the implementation of Article 47 of the proposal which seeks to treat low impact recreational fishing in the same manner as high impact commercial fisheries. Hotels, Cafés, Bars, Fuel Stations, Charter Vessel Operators, Local Shops all depend on income brought to coastal communities from visiting anglers which they can’t afford to lose. The EU paper fails to show any perceived negative impact that RSA cause to our fisheries and also fails to note the positive impact they have on small communities which will suffer as a result of implementation. Please support your local communities & RSA.”

UK Government Response –

The UK Government opposed the proposals in their original form because of their potential impact on recreational sea anglers. Our discussions with stakeholders including the Angling Trust, supported and further informed our assessment of the impact of the original proposal as a complicated and unwieldy measure that would have introduced strict controls without any real appreciation of the impact of recreational fishing on the wider marine environment. As a result of the opposition mounted to the proposal, the scope of the measure has been confined to recreational fishing from a vessel and only for stocks subject to multiannual plans (cod, hake and certain sole and plaice stocks). It does not include fishing from the shore. Also, recreational catches for these stocks are no longer required to be counted against quota – as was set out in the original proposal. Member States are though required to monitor such catches by way of a sampling plan.

Before Article 55 of Regulation 1224/2009 (previously Article 47) is implemented further detailed rules must be adopted. These will be negotiated in the coming months and will include agreement on the form the sampling plans must take. The UK Government will look for rules that allow it flexibility to target its efforts in those areas and on those vessels likely to be having the greatest impact on threatened fish stocks, but which do so in a way that will not place undue burdens on the vast majority of recreational sea anglers.

The UK Government will consult stakeholders, including angling representatives, before finalising its national arrangements.

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