Pressure is growing for an increase in the UK minimum size that bass can be kept. Former Labour angling minister Martin Salter, using his parliamentary contacts, gained support for the idea from fisheries minister Richard Benyon. When asked whether he was sympathetic to campaigns for bass conservation (there’s a loaded question), Benyon replied: “I have this old-fashioned view that creatures should be allowed to breed at least once before we seek to harvest them for food. That’s why I authorised a review of the current bass minimum landing size. I recognise that estuaries are special environments and can be important as spawning and nursery areas. I am always open to arguments on how we can better protect important habitats, and that includes our estuaries.” The Angling Trust has been working with Bass Anglers Sportsfishing Society (BASS) on an increase in the minimum landing size from 36cm to 48cm. Bass don’t spawn until they are a minimum of 42cm and often larger. The Irish recreational bass fishery is reckoned to be worth worth 15 million euros a year, so the UK figure would be far higher. Compare that with commercial UK bass landings of around £6m, and a higher size limit makes sound sense.