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1. Purpose

1.1.    The purpose of the Wales Sea Bass Advisory Group (WSBAG) is to advise on the implementation of the Sea Bass Fisheries Management Plan for England and Wales. The group will be the principal forum for stakeholder engagement and collaboration to improve the sea bass (thereafter referred to as ‘bass’) fishery in Wales through co-management. Welsh Ministers are directly responsible under relevant legislation for fisheries management in Wales. Therefore, the stakeholder role in co-management of our fisheries is an advisory, rather than a decision-making function. Welsh Ministers greatly value collaboration and advice from stakeholders in decision-making processes.

The group will prioritise, assist with and advise on the implementation of the actions in the Sea Bass Fisheries Management Plan (Bass FMP) for England and Wales. It will evaluate and provide feedback on the effectiveness of policies and plans relating to bass fisheries management in Wales.

1.2.    The group will meet up to 6 times a year.

1.3.    As the Bass FMP is a joint commitment between the Welsh Government and UK Government, WSBAG will cooperate on joint FMP actions and monitor progress with Defra counterparts through Welsh Government officials as necessary.

1.4.    WSBAG and other fishery specific groups will inform the strategic Ministerial Advisory Group for Welsh Fisheries (MAGWF) and keep them appraised of progress although there is no direct accountability.

2. Governance

2.1. Welsh Government officials will organise meetings and chair the group, setting out a clear direction.

2.2. A forward plan for the agenda will set out the work of the group but will retain an element of flexibility to include matters arising.  

2.3. Membership and the terms of reference of WSBAG will be reviewed in November of each year.

3. Membership

  1. Membership of the group will comprise of:
  • Chair
  • Representatives of commercial fishers, recreational anglers, buyers/processors
  • Representatives of commercial fishers associations, recreational fishers associations, Wales Environment Link, Natural Resources Wales, Seafish Wales
  • Independent scientific advisor
  • Up to 5 Welsh Government Fisheries Officials as required (Management, Enforcement, Science, Policy, and Data & ICT)

The current membership of WSBAG is:

Andy Davies - Bass Angler’s Sportfishing Society
Brett Garner - Llyn Fishermen’s Association
Colin Charman - Natural Resources Wales
David Curtis - Bass Angling Conservation Ltd
Hannah Rudd - Angling Trust
Holly Kaiser - Seafish
Ian Mccarthy - Bangor University
Jack Bailey - British Spearfishing Association – South West Wales
Jim Evans - Welsh Fisherman’s Association
John O’Connor - Angling Cymru Sea Anglers
Kevin Denman - South Wales and West Fishing Communities
Mark Boulton - commercial fisher
Nicola Cusack - Marine Conservation Society 
Richard Harrison - British Spearfishing Association – South West Wales
Richard Strudwick - Recreational angler
Simon Frobisher - Recreational angler
Sion Williams - Llyn Pot Fisherman’s Association
Teddy Whitalls - Whitfish Ltd
TBC - Buyer/processor

3.2 The Welsh Government needs group members to represent the views of others, not just individual opinions.

3.3 Meetings are restricted to nominated members and not open to members of the general public.

3.4 At the invitation of the Chair, individuals from outside the group may be invited to attend specific meetings to discuss or present on a subject relevant to the bass fishing industry or a particular item on the agenda. 

4. Ways of working

4.1. Members of WSBAG will meet up to 6 times a year on predetermined dates, to be notified in advance. Occasionally there may be a requirement to hold extraordinary meetings of the Group in which case members will be given at least five working days notice.

4.2. To save time and allow flexibility, the majority of meetings will be held virtually using Microsoft Teams or similar. The Welsh Government will organise meetings and provide members details and joining instructions.

4.3. Agendas will normally be issued via email five working days before meetings. Every effort will be made to share any papers at the earliest opportunity to allow appropriate consideration by members. 
4.4. Members are expected to seek views of those they represent. Papers should not be sent to anyone external to their organisations without prior consent from Welsh Government. Any information sharing should also adhere to data protection requirements.

5. Secretariat

5.1. Secretariat will be provided by the Welsh Government’s Fisheries Division, who will act as a central point for all communications.
5.2. ‘Action’ style minutes will be taken of each meeting and shared with members for approval. All queries should be directed to the Secretariat.

5.3. All papers will be published on the Fisheries bass fishery web pages once the minutes have been approved.