Threatened UK fish species receive boost!

Threatened UK fish species have received a boost from three MPs who will now be representing them in Parliament!

England’s stocks of eels, bass and salmon are under threat, largely due to over-fishing and the destruction of habitat, but now the trio of MPs will be lending their political support to protecting and restoring them, which is also going to benefit other species as well!

This is all part of a scheme for MPs across England to act as ‘Species Champions’ for 20 species that currently face significant threats to their future, and the Angling Trust put forward bass, salmon and eels as those fish currently most at risk.

All three of the MPs involved are keen anglers themselves, with Broxbourne Conservative MP championing the Atlantic salmon, fellow Conservative Scott Mann looking after bass as his constituency is North Cornwall, and Labour’s Jon Cruddas, MP for Dagenham and Rainham, supporting eels.

Stocks of eels remain critical despite slight improvements in recruitment, and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea has advised that all human-caused mortality – including from fishing, hydropower and pollution – is reduced as close to zero as possible.

Out of England’s 42 rivers that salmon use, ten are classed ‘at risk’ of not achieving conservation limits, and 28 ‘probably at risk’, with none being deemed not to have risks to salmon stocks.

Bass are now at their lowest ever reported levels, and in spite of the EU agreeing new measures for their protection at the end of 2015, this will still result in more than three times the recommended amount being landed this year!

Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd enthused: “We are very grateful to our MPs for agreeing to champion the cause of these three iconic species in Parliament.

“The Angling Trust has provided them all with detailed briefings about their species and what they can do to encourage decisions in parliament to help restore healthy populations.

“We hope that this initiative will provide a brighter future for salmon, eels and bass, by increasing understanding in the political community of the challenges these fish face.”