Originally Posted by GuyP
I doubt it'll get off the ground for two reasons:
Firstly, How would they police this over thousands of miles of coastline and tens of thousands of square miles of sea. It's unworkable.
Secondly, rod fishing just doesn't have a big impact on fish stocks. Chuck the foreign trawlers out of our waters and then we'll see an improvement.
Just another left-wing initiative that gets announced to the cheers of the eco-lobby and then quietly dropped. Hopefully
There is always another side to things so...
Agreed on the first point. Plus it would pretty hairy for the bailiffs that would have to enforce it!
(it would pretty much end up being voluntary in the remote spots)
Agree on the first bit of second point, but there is an argument that says if anglers pay for a licence they will then have far more say over what that income is spent on and more importantly have a legitimate stake in the management of the fishery. So they can then challenge the trawlers and commercial operators who do not pay anything for their quotas.
IMHO I think that it would let the anglers get a forum where they could lobby for no take zones, sensible quotas and management of their local fishery etc.. Currently they have no say in how the fisheries are run and in what level of fishing effort is appropriate. There has been some tentative economic work done that showed that the overall revenue from recreational sport fishermen (tackle, B&B, boat hire, travel etc etc) is larger than the income generated by the commercial fishing industry. Once you take awat grants etc... Which is food for thought when you look at who's voices are heard by government...
It would always be hugely contentious, but if all of the revenue generated was invested back into the sport (similar to the freshwater licence) it could have direct benefits for sea anglers. It would not be an easy sell and as a sea angler I would what some pretty cast iron guarantees that I would see an immediate and significant gain. For that reason I don't think it will happen, but the principle of it if managed correctly is ok, I think.
I am not against the commercial fishermen either, but marine fisheries management in this country (& EU!) is a joke, and at some point we need to take control over our stocks before they are all gone!
I will now duck for cover.