Struan Stevenson, Conservative fisheries spokesman in the European Parliament, has promised to fight a proposed regulation from the European Commission to bring recreational fishing under the direct control of the Common Fisheries Policy.
Recreational fishermen (and fisherwomen) would be obliged to register their boats, under Article 47 of the regulation. Their catch would be counted against the quota for that country. Countries will also be required to allocate shares of their quota for recreational and for commercial fishing.
Passage of the proposal through the European Parliament is expected to begin later this month, with a vote in April. Mr Stevenson comments:
"Recreational fishing is a simple pleasure that would become a bureaucratic nightmare if these plans become law.
This kind of draconian approach would do very little to assist in the recovery of fish stocks, yet it will cause a great deal of damage to tourism and the whole fishing sport.
If the European Union is serious about acting to protect fish stocks in the EU, it should launch a fundamental overhaul of the CFP, not target an ancient hobby."