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Councillor joins call for gill netting ban

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: December 11, 2013

CAMPAIGN:  Scott Mann wants to ban gill netting in estuaries.

CAMPAIGN: Scott Mann wants to ban gill netting in estuaries.

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THE Conservative parliamentary candidate for North Cornwall is calling for a netting ban on local estuaries.

Scott Mann, Cornwall councillor for Wadebridge West, has joined the campaign to remove the current legal practice of gill netting in estuaries.

He felt bass stocks were not sustainable if the practice is allowed to continue.

Cornwall's Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, which controls coastal waters and inlets up to the six-mile limit, will be debating the issue and a number of other bylaws in the coming months.

Mr Mann, who is a member of the authority's committee, and an angler himself, said: "Gill netting has been a concern of mine for a long time, it is apparent that large numbers of barely legal bass are being taken. I understand boats have to make a living, but netting in depths of less than two metres doesn't give the fish any hope at all.

"One boat working locally pulled 15 stone of bass in one night. This is not a sustainable way of managing our fish stocks," he said.

Mr Mann said if the motion is successful it is hoped that North Cornwall could become a mecca for sport anglers.

"There are several areas of North Cornwall's coastline which lend themselves to fly-fishing for bass, salmon and sea trout.

"Many tourism businesses are looking to MPs and local leaders to help them at this difficult time. It is my belief that this approach could add another string to our bow in North Cornwall."

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