March 1979 Newsletter Highlights
Brian Tudor is still the secretary and the headquarters is on The Quay in Looe.
Brians report started with, Another year – and what a year! Certainly not the year of the shark!
Shark number from Looe had continued to fall and in 1978 only 119 were caught. To put this in perspective 4087 had been caught in 1971. He once again hoped this was the bottom of the trough and that things would improve during this year. The winter had been appalling with prevailing cold winds, so it was hoped a good spring and summer would follow which would warm the water to give the Gulf Stream the nudge it needed to create a corridor for the Blues to return.
Less boats were now sharking and members were advised to book their trips as early as possible. The downturn in boat availability meant the club decided not to publish a boat list as members had complained when contacting skippers on the previous listings only to find they had given up sharking.
Brians secretary, Nora had left during 1978 to retire. Mrs Beryl Cudby had taken over as Brians right hand lady.
Subscription income had improved but there was a proposition to increase them once again for 1980. Members were asked to support this and their social membership in order that two newsletters per year could be published.
The Caunter Room continued to be popular and the Annual Dinner had saw many new faces when a capacity crowd of 120 enjoyed the evening which featured a grand buffet.
Congratulations were given to Mr Jim Aris on his 295lbs Thresher caught out of Gosport in the month of July which was a new all tackle British Record.
This year Bill Elliot had donated a Cup in memory of George Brooks who passed away the previous year which was for the best shark caught by a member residing in Buckinghamshire.
Finally Brian asked any members who would be interested in going on an organised holiday abroad, under the auspices of the Club, to contact him with suggestions as to where, time of year, duration, maximum cost and any other comments.
Mr Miller started the meeting by expressing the sad loss of Cdr. E St. John Holt. He went on to congratulate Mr M Toms who had done an excellent job leading the committee which he hoped he would continue to do.
Although the season had began well with sharks it had fell away and in September a single shark was considered a good catch. Various theories were offered as to the reason for the low numbers, but Mr Miller wondered if it was the lack of pilchards, the use of rubby-dubby, or simply the depletion of sharks due to the level of interference over the years. The year to date had been deplorable but he hoped things would improve.
He noted that the number of boats sharking had dropped with many returning to commercial fishing and said that a time could come when all were fishing commercially and wondered what would happen then. He suggested that the Ckubhouse may then have to finance the angling activities. He said it was essential that the club cater for all types of members and that it must overcome the depletion in shark numbers. His view was that it was essential that the Club should consider itself to be truly international and not here for the benefit of Looe members only.
Brian said that the accounts were most encouraging. The main account hadn’t done as well as it should have due to the lack of sharks, but the Caunter Room had made up for this drop in revenue. Subscriptions were up on the previous year and only the day to day running was down due to very few weigh ins and consequently fewer new members.
£350 had been repaid on the loan account and it was anticipated by the end of December that all loan account debt would be repaid with the exception of three individuals whose loans were in excess of £100 each which it was hoped would be fully repaid within 18 months.
Mr Toms welcomed the new faces. He went on to say he was extremely concerned about the sharks which were dwindling every year. The number of boats in sharking had dropped to 12 because of the increased viability of commercial fishing to the fishermen.
He asked all members to use the Caunter Room and make it a focal point so that this would support the shark angling side.
Letter from the President
Mr S G Miller acknowledge the lack of sharks in 1978 and expressed his hope that numbers would improve in the coming season.
He did not hope for the return to the slaughter of sharks as had happened in previous years but for the return of sufficient numbers of medium to large sharks for the enthusiast to capture. He wished all members tight lines wherever they fished from throughout the world.
He went on to say that a number of theories had been expressed as the reason for reduced numbers but so far none had been proven to be correct. The theories had varied from too much rain, not enough rain, too hot, too cold, too rough, too calm …..
He noted that anglers made have done themselves a favour if in previous years they had acted more responsibly towards the conservation pf the species by encouraging more anglers to use lighter tackle and return the smaller sharks to grow, breed and return. He observed that the club may have prevented their critics from decrying the sport as cruel if the club had banned the weighing of “tiddlers” from all official weigh stations.
He concluded these remarks by saying it was too late to think of what might have been and that they now needed to concentrate wholly on the coming season, but that anglers must, whilst enjoying themselves, always remember to act responsibly towards the conservation of all life in the sea.
He spoke of the SACGB’s association with the IGFA and with other Game Fishing Clubs around the world and having its own overseas member support the SACGB had true international status.
He continued that whilst there may be an excuse for younger and more recent members of the club not to be aware of the Clubs true status, there were those who, even though they know better, or have forgotten, think of the Club as purely British or just English, or simply Cornish, whilst others believe it to be a Looe Club. This Mr Miller said, was not so.
He further expressed his view that although everyone had the privilege of a personal opinion, as the President he was bound to remind some and tell others that the Club is and always has been, internationally orientated. Its Headquarters were in Looe simply because the facilities were there, the sharks were there, and the initial desire to form an association was there. Putting these three factors together they added up to the sole reason why the SACGB was there and during its 25 years of existence people of all kinds, colour, creed and nationality had their names registered in the Roll of Membership. Having the HQ in Loee, it follows that the business is managed from there, hence the need for a Secretary/Treasurer and a predominately parochial Committee to monitor and guide the business to be done. He also recognised that there were “up country” committee members who frequently travelled long distances to attend meetings. All were in office by the members choice and anxious to do the bidding of the members so he pleaded on the members not to let them down and communicate their wishes to them.
Shark Tagging 1977-78
This report covered Dr. J Stevens years absence while he was studying sharks at Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. Part of his work there involved tagging circa 1200 sharks of six species. Most of these had been recaptured within 3 kilometres of the tagging site. Some sharks were re-caught seven times and the overall recapture figure was 33%. This compared to a return rate of 1.5% for Blue sharks and movements of up to 4300 miles …. Quite a difference.
Blue Shark results:
Tagged at Looe by Bill Cowan during 1977. Recaptured 29th August 1978 on rod and line off Cork, Ireland
Tagged off Salcombe by John Stevens on the 27th July 1975. Recaptured by a Japanese tuna boat. Distance travelled 3100 miles
Tagged off Salcombe by John Stevens on the 4th July 1975. Recaptured by a Korean tuna boat. Distance travelled 4300 miles (this is the first recapture from the South Atlantic)
Tagged off Sagres, Portugal by Mr W Persoon on the 4th July 1978. Recaptured 18th July 1978 at Sagres by W Persoon again. Recaptured 29th September 1978 10 miles off the Algarve coast by Mr J Janssen, a Dutch angler
Tagged off Padstow on 30th June 1976 by John Watts. Recaptured on 26th June 1977 off Co. Donegal, Ireland
Tagged off Padstow on 3rd August 1977 by Mr. H Winter-Taylor. Recaptured 17th October 1977 by a French Trawler
Tagged off Padstow on 16th September 1976 by John Watts. Tag subsequently found at a fishmongers in Lorient, France