To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(1) what his response is to the draft Recreational Sea Angling Strategy; which policies in the strategy he plans to implement; whether he has a timetable for implementing the strategy; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what species will be covered by management plans introduced under the draft Recreational Sea Angling Strategy; and if he will make a statement.
The Summary of Responses to the DEFRA consultation on a draft Recreational Sea Angling Strategy will be published shortly, and will include a brief outline of the next steps. Revisions to the draft strategy are being made to reflect the results of the consultation, after which the revised draft will be discussed with key stakeholders. DEFRA intends to publish the revised strategy before the end of the year.
In advance of the publication of the revised strategy, revised management measures for sea bass, which is a prime sports fish for the sea angling sector, are under consideration. This involves a review of the 30 restricted areas in existence around the English coast to protect juvenile bass. The first stage of this process has just been completed, involving questionnaires being sent to Sea Fisheries Committees and the Marine Fisheries Agency in coastal regions of England, to identify whether amendments to the existing areas, or new areas, are needed. Full consultation with stakeholders will take place in the new year once the results of the first stage of the process have been assessed.