Anglers society ‘is respectful of lockdown measures’
STATES’ rules on fishing are vitally important during the lockdown to help keep Guernsey safe, the Guernsey Bass Anglers Sporting Society president Bryn Le Poidevin has said.
Advice has been issued, urging islanders not to undertake activities which could put further strain on the emergency services.
While commercial fishing from a boat and shore fishing is allowed, recreational fishing by boat, by diving, and pleasure boating is not.
Mr Le Poidevin said the organisation agreed that the current restrictions were a necessary measure in response to exceptional circumstances.
‘The health of individuals and the island community are of paramount importance,’ he said.
‘We as a club understand that the safety of the community we all reside in is critical.
‘If that dictates that we have to curtail what we all love doing, then so be it.’
Temporary restrictions on freedom will protect lives, he added.
‘We as a club are responsible and respectful of the measures in place and understand the rationale for them being necessary,’ Mr Le Poidevin said.
‘We would take a dim view of any club member who flouted this guidance.
‘Our club rules dictate that catches are based on trust so no contact is necessary and we have no competitions where people need to be in direct contact.’
Fishing is recognised for the positives it brings.
‘It would be remiss of us to not comment on the very positive effects that recreational angling has for individuals and groups,’ Mr Le Poidevin said.
‘We take part in this pastime not for financial reward, but for sport, pleasure and sometimes to put some food on the table that is sustainably sourced. Angling can be exercise, meditative, exciting (and frustrating) and an opportunity to be part of an inclusive community.
‘This list of benefits is not exhaustive.
‘The sense of well-being in participating in angling cannot be underestimated and this seems more important now than ever.’
Adhering to restrictions will allow the lockdown to be lifted more quickly.
‘GBASS has, like everyone else, had to adapt and we will continue to do so in line with the guidance issued,’ Mr le Poidevin said.
‘We just hope that this crisis will pass sooner rather than later so all islanders can get back to normal.’
Before fishing, islanders should judge whether it is essential, and avoid leaving home where possible.
For commercial fishing licence holders who fish part-time it may be that fishing would not be considered essential.
A States spokesperson said: ‘Sea-based activities may be dangerous at the best of times.
‘Any person taking part should be experienced, take safety precautions, avoid fishing with people outside of your household, and always observe social distancing.’
n Call 01481 717118 for non-clinical advice or to ask whether fishing is essential in your situation.