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Protection for northern sea bass stocks

Protection for northern sea bass stocks

The EU today took a further step forward in the protection of sea bass stocks in Europe, by increasing the minimum catch size.

Previously at 36cm, this has now been increased to 42cm. This new ruling will apply to both commercial and recreational fishing.

It is believed that his new measure will give northern sea bass more chance to reproduce before it is caught.

A similar ruling was also proposed for two southern stocks of sea bass in Iberian waters and the Bay of Biscay, however this was rejected due to less robust data being available on these two stocks. The EU commission, as such, will seek further scientific advice on the subject.

Today's decision is the latest step in a package of measures proposed for 2015 to halt the decline of northern sea bass and to pave the way forward for further management measures in 2016.

Previous steps include a short-term ban on pelagic trawling, a 3-fish bag limit for recreational fishermen and, for the remainder of 2015, a monthly catch limit and an area closure around Ireland for commercial fishing.

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