Anglers want shark killing stopped – A NEW group seeking to boost the development of sport fishing around the British coast has been formed by sea anglers to stop the killing of two common species of sharks, tope and smoothound.
This will effectively reserve these fish for sea anglers and follows another plan also aiming to increase sportfishing by managing stocks of bass (the bass management plan*) to allow them to grow larger and more plentiful around Britain.
Save our Sharks (SOS), and the Bass Anglers’ Sportfishing Society (BASS), want the new Marine Bill expected next year to meet their demands.
Ian Burrett, a 50-year-old charter skipper in Drummore, near Stranraer, Scotland, who has been tagging sharks since 1992, said Save Our Sharks was formed after recent allegations that UK commercial fishermen were planning to start catching sharks and exporting the fins to Asia.
“Our sharks could be eradicated in 3 years to 5 years by commercial fishing.
”Tope and smoothound have no history of commercial value in the UK and to get them listed as recreational species wouldn’t cause any job losses or hardship.”
It was not generally realised, Mr. Burrett said, that marine ecosystems could go out of balance and not necessarily to thebenefit of commercial species, if apex predators were removed.
SOS is also concerned with protecting other UK native shark species including porbeagle, spur dogs, rays and skate. It plans to develop activities of interest for both shark anglers and people who just care about sharks and the seas. The statement was ssued on behalf of Save Our Sharks (SOS) by the National Federation of Sea Anglers (NFSA)