The club recognises that it cannot be held responsible for the actions of anglers and skippers but as the custodian of UK shark angling it has a responsibility to provide guidance to promote the welfare and conservation of the shark species.
The club cannot provide a guarantee that by following its best practise the sport will be fully protected and accept that anglers and skippers have a choice in what guidance, if any, they will follow. If, however, they choose not to follow best practise they risk damaging shark conservation and are also exposing the sport to the risk of sanctions, even to the extent of it being banned altogether.
The club believe that by adopting a process of continuous review of its best practise and by working together with conservation and scientific organisations that we can collectively contribute to the welfare and conservation of this magnificent species.
The last significant change to the sport was championed by Danny Vokins when he led the move away from “Kill and Weigh” to ‘Measure and Release” which today is a universally accepted practise.
Danny’s action started a “natural best practise evolution” within our sport and it’s to the credit of skippers and anglers that this momentum continues to this day. Some of the most notable trends is the increasing use of release at the side of the boat, circle hooks, crushed barbs, entry/exit doors, cooled decks, underwater video footage/photographs and many more.
The clubs position has always been that a badly handled shark released at the side of the boat is no better than a badly handled shark brought aboard but either, if done correctly, will significantly reduce the risk of mortality
Club membership and trophies currently use a calculated estimated weight using the length from the tip of the nose to the fork of the tail and the girth which requires the fish to be measured.
Recently the focus on release at the side of the boat versus boarding and release has increased, and we are aware that a number of anglers and skippers are also trialling methods of estimating size/weight of sharks whilst at the side of the boat.
In recognition of this, the club has decided as part of this year’s best practise review to invite the views of anglers and skippers on the practise of release at the side of the boat and of course, any other areas of our best practise procedures. During the course of this year we will attempt to collect more data to better understand how measurement data from fish at the boat side can be used in an accurate and consistent manner for trophy allocation.
Change which is debated and understood is better received than change which is imposed which is why the policy of the SACGB has always been to drive change through a process of communication and education.
With the majority of shark anglers and skippers coming together between now and the end of September, this is the period when most aspects of the sport are discussed and debated so we are asking that you share your views with us by email, post or social media.
It is our objective to produce and updated best practice document by the end of this year.