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