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Seabass: increased fishing opportunities for anglers

Seabass: increased fishing opportunities for anglers

From March through November 2020 anglers are permitted to retain two seabass per day; one fish extra compared with 2019 and the open season has also been extended by two months

December is a month of festive holidays, family and gifts. European fisheries ministers also meet annually in December - not to celebrate, but to negotiate the allowable catches for fishing for the coming year. Anglers have been focusing particularly on the bag limit for seabass since 2015.


As in previous years, Sportvisserij Nederland (Dutch Angling Association) and the European Anglers Alliance fought hard for a good result. And as in 2018, we were supported by the House of Representatives, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality and Minister Schouten. During the negotiations the Netherlands again argued for a bag limit of three fish for a period of seven months. Despite Brexit, the United Kingdom also supported us in these negotiations. 

Common sense prevailed

Although we were backed by scientific evidence - because the impact of angling on seabass stocks has been shown to be extremely limited - the European Commission came with a proposal that did not reflect the important socio-economic position of angling and the desired access to a public food source. That is why we are particularly pleased that common sense prevailed in Europe this year. Sportvisserij Nederland would like to thank everyone who supported us in this lobby.

Other agreements in 2020

  • Recreational gillnetting for seabass is prohibited throughout the year.
  • The quota for handline fishing has been increased from 5.5 to 5.7 tonnes per year.
  • The quota for fixed gillnets remains at 1.4 tonnes of unavoidable bycatch per year. The net category ‘GNC’ has been added for 2020. In fishing, encircling gillnets are set vertically in a circle around the school.
  • Cutters and purse seiners now have a maximum bycatch of 520 kilogram per 2 months. The amount of seabass may not exceed 5% of the landed fish per fishing trip.
  • Commercial fishing for seabass continues to be prohibited in February and March.
  • As well as anglers, a section of commercial fishing has also been given increased fishing opportunities.
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