Ever since 1990 Ireland’s bass have been conserved by a set of laws which completely protects the species from commercial fishing, whilst allowing anglers to take only 2 fish each within any 24 hour period. This sportfishery approach has reaped many benefits for the Irish, with anglers from right across Europe coming to take advantage of what is probably the best bass fishery anywhere in the world. The economic benefits to many local economies are large with travelling anglers seeking accommodation and tackle throughout the year. Sadly all this could be about to change with growing pressure to allow commercial bass fishing to start again in the Emerald Isle.
The position with regard to commercial fishing for bass by an Irish fishing vessel is very clear. Commercial bass fishing activity, including fishing for bass, taking bass using nets, or even having bass on board an Irish fishing vessel, has been prohibited since 1990. However pressure is growing to have this law removed. In recent times the Federation Of Irish Fishermen have been lobbying the government to allow commercial bass fishing to become legal once again.
On the 21st May 2009 the Federation of Irish Fishermen (FIF – main commercial fishermen’s organisation) made a proposal  to Minister Conor Lenihan to allow Irish commercial fishing vessels to land sea bass caught in offshore waters.
Quite clearly the reintroduction of commercial bass fishing in Ireland could spell the end for Ireland’s Bass Angling. Should numbers and average size of the fish start to reduce, those travelling anglers mentioned earlier may just decide to stay at home.
In a bid to stop the commercial fishermen in their tracks, a group of anglers are asking for your support. Members of the website : www.sea-angling-ireland.org have started a survey to support their claims that commercial bass fishing in Ireland should remain prohibited. If you would like to support this group in their work then please head over there are take a look at the survey.
If the survey doesn’t really relate to you, then maybe you could just drop in on the forum and offer a few words of support – Sea Angling In Ireland Forums
Sources And Further Reading