The taking of Gilthead Bream here in Cork continues to be a contentious issue. With many anglers getting angry about the continual killing of breeding sized fish, it is not a good situation.
Here we have a new species that has only been resident since approximately 1998. If treated responsibly a foothold could have been made by these beautiful fish in Irelands inshore zone. A spread of the stock further north around both coasts could have been a reasonable expectation given time and climatic conditions suitable for stock enhancement.
Unfortunately most anglers greedy reaction has been to keep all the fish they catch. Cork harbour had some decent fishing for a season but that didn't last long, I heard 70+ fish a week were getting killed during its heyday.
Whether that figure is accurate doesn't really matter now the frenzied bonanza is history. If so called anglers are that desperate for food I'll have to start a charity on this blog to feed them and save them from ruining their own hobby's future. Its exasperating really ........
It has been mentioned to me the possibility of lobbying for the set up of nursery areas where the taking of gilties could be prohibited.
I and many others would love to see something like that in place , I remember it having a very good impact when similar nursery areas were set up to protect bass in Wales, it is definately food for thought...........How much support an idea like that would get is another matter though, are the bream worth protecting? I don't suppose there is much to be gained financially for the goverment by having a healthy gilthead stock, infact at times it seems bass are hardly worth the effort to conserve judging by the protection they seem to get.
I've been bass fishing here for 15 years now and not once in all that time have I ever been approached by a single fishery officer to check on what I was doing or if I had exceeded my catch limit etc!
Isn't that a bit odd ?,where are the people being paid to safeguard the stocks that are already "protected"? Even though they are underfunded and undermanned surely atleast once in all that time I should have seen one patrol ?
What makes it more annoying for me is, I would actually do it myself on a voluntary basis given the chance and would give some of my spare time to be trained in the proceedures that need to be followed by fishery officers . If I'm acceptable for the Lifeboat/RNLI then why not bass protection?
I'll just have to write to them and see what they say I suppose ? Infact it wouldn't suprise me if some other anglers felt the same either ? I'll bet there is more red tape involved with saving fish than there is with saving people. "Oh no you can't do that", is probably as far as it would get?
Anyway apologies for the ranting lately, its just representative of the feed back I've been receiving through members of my angling club and others anglers who phone or email,so I'm putting it out there.
I shouldn't really be negative about the IFI either as they probably do more than I see or hear about ? Its just frustrating when there is no sign of them around the place. That kind of thing annoys people and is a common complaint I hear.
I'll shut-up now and get back to the fishing.........