SACGB Chairmans 2017 Trophy Evening Address
The 2016/7 sharking season has been an exceptional one for anglers and skippers all around the UK.
The Welsh sharking hotspot of Milford Haven has produced over 1000 sharks for Andrew Alsop of White Water Charters with Blues and Porbeagles of 200lbs plus being caught and released.
Nick O’Sullivan, skipper of Celtic Wildcat reports similar numbers to last year with a good number of fish around the 100lbs mark and one Blue of 214lbs.
Moving a lot further north to Scrabster in Scotland where the sharking season starts around September/October and extends into March, Chris Bennett reported 46 Porbeagles for the previous season. All were male fish with an average weight of around 200lbs. The best being estimated at 330lbs. Once again all were released. With Chris’s season not long started we are looking forward to hearing more from him in the coming months
Robin Chapman down in Penzance had a tremendous year with just under 1800 sharks caught and released with many of qualifying size up to and beyond 200lbs. Then of course there was John Dines big Blue which set a new British Measured and Released Record also caught aboard Bite Adventures
Further round the coast to St Ives, Sam Narbett of Bluefin Charters brought a Porbeagle to the boat with an estimated weight of 400lbs. The video is on Facebook and is worth watching. He also caught and released two Threshers last season which we only learned about this year
All skippers are reporting increased sightings of Tuna with many shark anglers losing a lot of line and end tackle to these oversize mackerel
We are sure there are many more similar events which the club are unaware of and we congratulate every one of you, be you a skipper or an angler.
Here in Looe, in common with many ports we lost a lot of days to bad weather this year. However, despite that we caught and released 1887 sharks which is an increase of 162 or almost 10% on the previous season. The number of qualifiers also increased to 89 which is a 15% increase on last season.
Special mention to Dan Margetts, skipper of the Sowenna of Looe who has successfully completed his first year. We also give our best wishes to Kieren Faisey who starts his sharking skipper career alongside his mentor Chippy in Easter next year. It’s always a pleasure to welcome new skippers to the sport. So, on behalf of the club, welcome Kieren and Dan.
This year’s shark festival was widely reported, and the club received very positive feedback from the anglers and the angling press. The committee are currently considering some improvements to next year’s festival which we will announce shortly and with 42 anglers already booked we are already getting excited about it. We still have space but please don’t leave it too long to book.
From a club perspective we launched the British Measured and Released Record which has been widely praised and allows anglers to compete whilst putting shark conservation as our highest priority. Our objective of broadening the scope of the club is progressing steadily as we make more and more contact with anglers and skippers. Some are old friends and others are new friendships. The new rule book is in progress and we will shortly be engaging with members on several topics which require their input. As you know the new season started on the 1st of the month and the secretary tells me he has already received a number of trophy claim declarations, so the 2017/2018 season has got off to a flying start so we are very much looking forward to the next 12 months.