Monday, December 08, 2008

Marine Bill could see close season change

Powers to alter the dates of the traditional close season on Britain's rivers to adapt to climate change are contained in the new Marine Bill which now looks set to become law.

Explanatory notes to the bill say: "The draft Bill removes statutory close seasons and close season lengths. The current provisions impose an unnecessary restriction on the EA’s ability to determine appropriate evidence-informed close seasons.

"The draft Bill gives the EA the power to set close seasons through byelaws, and whilst initially we do not envisage signicant changes to the current close seasons, there will be more flexibility to adapt to future challenges such as different spawning times brought about by changes in water temperature due to climate change.

"This will allow the EA to protect fish stocks when they are most vulnerable."

So could we see a situation where pike in our rivers could come under the protection of an extended close season in areas of the country where they are known to begin spawning before March 14..?