FACTSHEET: Bass Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) Why a Bass FMP?
Bass is of substantial social, cultural and economic importance to local coastal communities.
The Bass FMP seeks to ensure stocks in English and Welsh waters are maintained at sustainable levels, and the full benefits of bass fishing can be realised by the communities that depend on them.
What does the Bass FMP do?
The Bass FMP collates the evidence on bass stocks and the bass fishery around England and Wales. It identifies existing management measures and sets out short and medium-long term policies and actions needed to manage the bass fishery.
Summary ————————————————————————————————- Current Management
Joint UK/EU management measures were implemented in 2015. These include a Minimum Conservation Reference Size (MCRS), domestic authorisations system, seasonal closures and catch/bycatch limits for commercial and recreational fishers.
Three gear types are authorised for landing bass. Regional byelaws provide inshore (<6 nautical mile) management, and a network of nursery areas also provide protection for juvenile bass.
Bass is currently fished within sustainable limits aligned with ICES advice. Goals of the FMP
The overarching aim of the FMP is to ensure stocks are harvested sustainably whilst benefiting a diverse range of environmental, commercial, recreational, and social interests. There are nine detailed goals:
- 1) Inclusive stakeholder engagement structures to inform management of the bass fishery.
- 2) Equitable access to the bass fishery, while prioritising stock sustainability.
- 3) Minimise discarding of bass bycatch where survival rates are low.
- 4) Encourage and facilitate full compliance with bass regulations.
- 5) Maximise the benefits of bass fishing for local coastal communities.
- 6) Sustainable harvesting of the bass stock in line with scientific advice.
- 7) Protecting juvenile and spawning bass.
- 8) Minimise the impact of bass fishing on the wider marine ecosystem.
- 9) Mitigate against and adapt to the impact of climate change on bass fishing.