Standing up for sea anglers

Fishing boats in Shoreham Harbour
Fishing boats in Shoreham Harbour

A BID to help sea anglers in Shoreham has been made by MP Tim Loughton.

Speaking in the House of Commons during a Westminster Hall debate, he raised the issue of sea bass stock levels.

The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham is particularly concerned for his constituents as the industry is worth more than £31 million in Sussex.

George Hollingbery, Conservative MP for Meon Valley, led the debate on the concern of sea bass and sea anglers.

Mr Loughton then commented: “Does he agree that enormous damage is done to the feeding and spawning beds of sea bass by pair trawlers, which drag the bottom of the oceans and take away all the seaweed?

“Does he acknowledge that one solution might be to restrict sea bass to sea anglers?

“It has been calculated that in Sussex the value of sea angling is more than £31 million, including tackle, accommodation and boats. That is more than three times the value of commercially landed fish stocks. Such a measure would go a long way towards conservation, too.”

At the end of the debate, George Eustice, parliamentary under-secretary for environment, food and rural affairs, informed members that he will get the best deal he can by going to Europe and the Fisheries Council.

Mr Loughton has previously met sea anglers in his constituency to discuss issues they face and will continue to raise awareness on their behalf in the future. ​

Speaking after the debate, Mr Loughton said: “I again raised my grave concerns about the practice of pair trawling, which can inflict untold damage to the feeding and spawning beds of sea bass. I argued for the restriction of fishing sea bass only by angling.”