Recreational sea anglers in England face the prospect of being locked out of some of their favourite fishing grounds if Ministers go ahead and implement the recommendations of the Benyon Review of Highly Protected Marine Areas which was published this week.
Commenting on the situation, Angling Trust Head of Policy Martin Salter said: “Whilst the Angling Trust welcomes any attempt to rebuild fish stocks and reduce the unsustainable commercial exploitation of the oceans we are deeply disappointed that no recreational fishing representatives were appointed to the Benyon review panel and, as a result, no distinction has been made between the negligible impacts of rod and line fishing and the devastation caused by the dredging, trawling and drilling industries. Excluding sea anglers from Highly Protected Marine Areas is not just unfair – it’s counterproductive. We need anglers as eyes and ears on the seas to report transgressions and to ensure compliance, otherwise the whole system will be open to abuse.”
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