Commercial bass fishing

 

Sir, – As an avid bass fisherman, I have been visiting west Cork for over 30 years. I understand that the Government is now considering lifting the ban on commercial bass fishing which has been in place for the last 20 years.

I have written to Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Simon Coveney as I am certain that the commercial ban has saved this very slow-growing species from otherwise over-exploitation and ruin for decades to come.

There is absolutely no hope and no precedent for believing that a commercial bass fishery could be “sustainable” as it is, regrettably, human nature to grab as much as one can before someone else does.

Policing would be virtually impossible and a waste of resources.

It is self-evident that the value to the Irish economy of commercial fishermen making a fast buck for a very limited period of time is dwarfed by the long-term sustained benefit from continued angling tourism. I am concerned that the powerful and populist commercial fishing lobby may cloud the simple financial issue which ought to be of paramount importance to the Government during a severe recession.

It is essential that the Government considers carefully the financial and ecological impact of a return to commercial bass fishing in Irish waters.

I, for one, would not return to west Cork and would spend my euro elsewhere. – Yours, etc,

GUY PITCHER,

New Street,

Cawston,

Norfolk, England.