Here below is an invitation from the Environment Agency to get involved in consultations with regard to the extension to the Yorkshire and North East coastal sea trout netting season.
It is imperative that all anglers get involved. Sea trout and salmon stocks are in perilous state and only by objecting to this proposal can anglers hope to contain the situation. Sea trout stocks in local rivers are not sustainable and extending the netting season will only make matters significantly worse. Your fishing is now at risk, please act now before it is too late.
The following is an email invitation from Jon Shelley, Fisheries Programme Manager for the Environment Agency:-
“Today the Environment Agency began a five week consultation to seek views on the potential to extend the beach netting season for sea trout in Yorkshire and the North East. The closing date for this consultation is 21 February 2020. Please share this email with anyone you feel may have an interest.
We are asking interested parties to provide us with relevant information, and indicate their preference or recommendations for the future management of the net fishery.
Our first priority is the conservation of salmon and sea trout stocks, but we are mindful of the impact of our regulations on commercial netsmen. We are seeking to achieve the best balance between providing vulnerable stocks with necessary protection and minimising the economic impacts for netsmen by allowing a sea trout net fishery as far as this is sustainable and consistent with providing adequate protection for fish stocks.
A number of options have been developed for potentially extending the beach net fishing season for sea trout. Each option would have some degree of impact on the livelihoods of beach net licensees and on the levels of protection provided to the stocks of salmon and sea trout exposed to the net fishery.
The results of trials of modified designs of T and J nets undertaken last year show that the modified nets proved successful in intercepting sea trout whilst only entangling a small number of salmon, and that the impact on salmon stocks from the modified nets was low. The impact of an extended sea trout net fishery on sea trout stocks is less certain, since large numbers of sea trout were caught during the trial period. The results of the trials are available in a report on the consultation website, together with a report setting out options for the future management of the net fishery. Paper copies of these reports are available on request.
Our latest stock assessments indicate the majority of the salmon populations in England exposed to the beach net fishery are probably at risk, emphasising the need to prohibit exploitation of salmon in coastal nets. A number of salmon populations in Scotland contributing to the net fishery are also assessed as requiring management action to reduce exploitation of the stock to zero in 2020. The latest assessments of sea trout stocks contributing to the coastal net fishery also indicate many of these stocks are probably at risk, indicating a precautionary management approach should be adopted.
We will carefully consider all responses we receive and use this information, together with the latest evidence on the status of contributing stocks of salmon and sea trout and the impact of the net fishery on those stocks, to better inform our decision making.
Following the consultation, a summary of all submissions received will be published, and we will make our recommendations for the future management of the net fishery. Any proposals to extend the netting season would require amendments to national and regional fisheries byelaws, formal advertisement and a response to any objections raised. Any byelaw changes we might make would require confirmation by the Secretary of State before they came into effect.
Responses to this consultation may be made online at: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/north-east/yorkshire-and-north-east-coastal-sea-trout-fishery/
By email to: email@example.com
Formal guidance will be posted here in the next few days for those seeking help with their response.