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Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans his Department has to implement the recommendations of the 2005 Securing the Benefits report on the fishing industry with regard to recreational sea angling; and if he will make a statement. (159719)

Recommendations in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit report “Net Benefits” concerned with inshore fisheries in England, including recreational sea angling (RSA), were addressed in DEFRA's “Charting a New Course”. These publications are available in the Library of the House.

Progress to implement RSA recommendations has included:

i. A consultation on proposals to increase the minimum landing size for bass launched in November 2005. I will be making an announcement on this shortly;

ii. Establishment of a central focal point within DEFRA for RSA interests;

iii. Strengthened representation for anglers on Sea Fisheries Committees;

iv. Proposals in the Marine Bill White Paper for a more active approach to managing recreational fisheries; and

v. A draft RSA strategy, developed in collaboration with key stakeholders including recreational anglers, commercial fishermen and other interested parties. We will be consulting on this shortly.