To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what bass sampling his Department undertakes; and if he will make a statement.
The Marine and Fisheries Agency samples commercial landings of bass in accordance with the European Commission data collection regulation. Samples of scales and length information are processed by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) to provide information on population length and age structure. In recent years, CEFAS has processed around 2,000 scale samples and 4,000 length measurements per year.
CEFAS also carries out pre-recruit surveys (i.e. surveys of juvenile fish before they recruit to the fishery) in the Thames and Solent and commissions a pre-recruit survey in the Tamar. As part of a new R and D programme, CEFAS will also be investigating the utility of data from power station intake screens to provide new recruitment indices.