§ Baroness Carnegy of Lour
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they propose to proceed with plans to designate nursery areas for the protection of juvenile bass stocks.
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Trumpington)
The Government have decided that, following extensive consultations with interested parties over the last two years, regulations should be introduced as soon as practicable to establish 34 nursery areas in the coastal waters of England and Wales in which fishing for bass from any boat will be prohibited for all or part of the year. The nursery areas and the duration of the seasonal prohibition on bass fishing will be as follows:228WA
Area Duration of prohibition (dates inclusive) Bradwell Power Station outfall (River Blackwater) 1 May to 31 October Isle of Grain Power Station outfall (River Medway) All year Kingsnorth Power Station outfall (River Medway) All year Chichester Harbour 1 May to31 October Langstone Harbour 1 May to 31 October Portsmouth Harbour 1 May to 31 October Southampton Water 1 May to 31 October Fawley Power Station outfall (Stanswood Bay, Solent) 1 May to 31 October Poole Harbour 1 May to 31 October The Fleet All year River Exe 1 May to 31 October River Teign 1 May to 31 October River Dart 1 May to 31 December Salcombe Harbour 1 May to 31 December River Avon (Devon) 1 May to 31 December River Yealm 1 May to 31 December Plymouth Rivers All year River Fowey 1 May to 31 December Fal Estuary 1 May to 31 December Percuil River 1 May to 31 December Helford River 1 May to 31 December River Camel 1 May to 30 November River Torridge 1 May to 31 October River Taw 1 May to 31 October Aberthaw Power Station outfall All year Burry Inlet 1 May to 31 October Taf, Twyi and Gwendraeth Estuary 1 May to 31 October Milford Haven 1 May to 31 October River Dyfi 1 May to 31 October River Mawddach 1 May to 31 October Dwyryd/Glaslyn Estuary 1 May to 31 October Conwy Estuary 1 May to 31 October Dee Estuary 1 June to 30 September Heysham Power Station outfall (Morecambe Bay) 1 June to 30 September
We shall also be inviting the National Rivers Authority and Sea Fisheries Committees to consider the introduction of additional restrictions in some areas or parts of areas where juvenile bass stocks are particularly vulnerable to other fishing activities. Full details of the extent of the 34 nursery areas and the additional restrictions proposed have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It is not proposed that any restrictions should be placed on fishing from the shore for which primary legislation would be necessary. However, any bass taken from the shore and landed will still need to comply with the minimum landing size of 36 cm.
The introduction of nursery areas forms the final part of the package of measures that are being adopted for the long term conservation and management of the bass fishery in our coastal waters. The other measures, the introduction of mesh size controls for gill and similar nets and an increase in the minimum landing size for bass from 32 to 36 cm, which was subsequently adopted by the European Community, took effect from 1st January this year.