New curbs on sea bass angling
Sea bass anglers will only be able to fish on a catch and release basis once new regulations come into force.
Fishing for sea bass is very popular in County Wexford and the European Union ruling will have major implications for recreational fishermen locally.
The ruling is a result of successful negotiation by Minister for Agriculture Food and Marine, Michael Creed, at the Fisheries Council in Brussels.
The initial proposal from Europe was for a complete ban on recreational fishing for six months and a catch and release fishery for six months.
Inland Fisheries Ireland says it is waiting for updated legislation from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to allow for the enforcement of a catch and release fishery in all areas of the country from January 1,
The new rule, which applies to both shore and sea angling, says it shall be prohibited to retain on board, relocate, tranship or land European sea bass caught in that area.
The strict bass management regime currently operating for Irish waters is based on a heavily-controlled and restricted recreational fishery. Economically, the bass recreational fishery is extremely valuable to rural coastal communities.