December 1991 Newsletter Highlights
Karan Sayer was the club secretary now and the newsletter opens by recognising the good season just gone. There had been 25 sharks of 100lbs and over, two of which were Threshers of 190lbs and 159lbs from Bembridge Isle of Wight.
The heaviest Blue came from Looe and weighed 136lbs, caught by new member Mr. B Caveill from South Glamorgan.
The heaviest Porbeagle to date came from Jersey, caught by Mr E Read, weighing 204lbs
The Jack Daniels Festival had ultimately delivered the goods with 3 weighable sharks, despite losing two days fishing to bad weather. Top honours went to Paul Hillman from Weston S Mare with Phil Stennett and Norman Harvey the runners up.
The tagging programme was progressing well and of the 897 sharks tagged, 12 had been returned. Nine of these were caught in Spain, the others being caught in Penzance and one in Wales.
Mr A V Aldous had tendered his resignation for personal; reasons and in the meantime the Vice Chairman had taken over his duties
Annual General Meeting
The President, Mr Kingerlee opened the meeting and commented on the terrific year. Of the 599 sharks caught from Looe, 503 had been tagged and released. Jack Daniels were continuing to sponsor the tagging programme.
There had also been good reports received from other ports around the British Isles.
Mr Aldous delivered the Chairmans report reiterating that the season had been good, both in quantity and quality. He praised the clubs conservation efforts and confirmed Jack Daniels commitment to the programme.
He went on to say that the club was functioning well and singled out Karan for coming down every evening to weigh sharks and for keeping the office running smoothly. He also thanked Peter at the Clubhouse and his staff Ron and Barry for their good work.
There was a new accounts reporting format which it was hoped would be easier to read and although there had been a small expenditure over income, a Jack Daniels payment of £1600 was outstanding.
Mr Millman raised a point regarding increasing the qualifying weight for Porbeagles as this would support the conservation of the species. Mr Vokins stated that he knew of many anglers who would like to join the club but refused to kill the shark just to qualify for membership. He went on to say that they had worked out a formula for estimating weight which worked well.
Mr Aldous explained that the committee had considered the proposal, but the conclusion was that this system would be open to cheating.
Mr Millmans response was that the club was now a prime target for “antis” to have a go at it, and that it was perhaps time for minimum weights to be addressed. Mr Vokins supported by saying that the club would lose a lot of members if the situation wasn’t changed.
Photographic evidence was suggested but it was felt that times and dates could be an issue with that.
Mr Millman then suggested that the Isle of Wight anglers put forward a proposition for the next AGM.
Mr Kingerlee said that the tagging programme was evidence of a positive step forward in conservation but Mr L Dean expressed concern that sharks being brought aboard for tagging could die.
Mr Chaston made a proposal that the club supply hooks and Mr Aldous agreed the committee would consider this
Proposition From: Mr D Vokins
Seconded By: Mr P Brennon
KILL TO QUALIFY POLICY: In this present ecologically minded climate it is becoming more unacceptable to an increasing number of anglers and non anglers alike. The sight of a sometimes small and immature shark hanging from the gallows of the weighing scales, and awaiting a disposal maybe at sea or on a rubbish dump, can in nobody’s way of thinking be a good advert for our chosen sport. Agreed that some shark carcases do go for food, but in some ports away from Looe this is only by prior arrangement with a fish merchant or retailer and is a source of disposal that is not always available. A more acceptable way of qualifying must be found and in the near future. Remember how the efforts to stop fox and deer hunting very nearly succeeded in the recent debate in parliament.
Now how are we to achieve this? Various methods have been discussed at great length bot at the SACGB and other organisations and places where anglers meet.
My proposal therefore is as follows.
- An angler should qualify for membership of the SACGB if he fulfils the following requirements. ie all existing SACGB rules regarding tackle and methods
- The shark must be estimated (or using the formula) by the angler and one other witness, to be above the SACGB minimum qualifying weight as laid down in the rules
- Any shark that qualifies the angler by this method is ineligible for any SACGB awards other than membership
- Any shark that is caught over the qualifying weight and landed ashore to be weighed as a qualifying shark will be subject to the existing rules of the SACGB
- Any shark that is caught by a club member and released above the minimum weight therefore should be eligible for a SACGB certificate similar to the non members certificates providing than an existing member or skipper has witnessed the catch. The weight of the shark can be worked out using the formula
Of how these rules would benefit all as an example from one small club, The Bembridge Angling Club last season alone tagged and released 4 Thresher Sharks and 30 plus Porbeagles over the qualifying weight. As a result of this policy of conservation and respect for our sport, eight anglers were unable to gain membership of the SACGB as they preferred to release the fish to help maintain and assist stock recovery for future years and generations of anglers to come.
The majority of these fine fish were tagged to assist in the behaviour study of their habits. It could be emphasised in SACGB publications of estimated sizes and anglers names of notable fish released. After looking to allow a better overall picture of the sharks that we caught at all points around our coast. A formula of shark length to weight already exists compiled by Marine Biologists in USA and a copy of which is enclosed, we feel certain that no problem of duplication of this formula should arise, and therefore should be made available to anyone requesting it.
If these rules enable more people to become members of a governing body of shark angling surely this must be of benefit to all concerned and most importantly to the great fish itself. We are not condemning or decrying any angler who wishes to land his shark, only wishing to encourage conservation through honesty and good sportsmanship.