Scientific evidence presented by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), states that the north east Atlantic Sea bass Dicentrarchus labrax populations have been declining dramatically since 2012 and is at risk of collapse.

This species is late maturing, slow growing and a highly valuable species to fishermen, resulting in a high fishing mortality and a poor spawning stock producing low recruitment. It is estimated that its fishing mortality is four times above the Maximum Sustainable Yield.

To help reduce fishing mortality and increase recruitment, management measures were implemented by the EU Commission.  25% of Sea bass fishing is attributed to recreational catches and the EU Commission has determined that bass stocks remain under pressure despite the measures taken in previous years. It has placed further restrictions on the commercial and recreational fishing sectors in order to address this:

For recreational fishers, any bass caught during 2018 MUST be returned immediately. This applies if you are fishing from a vessel or from the shore

The minimum landing size for bass remains 42cm.