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Photographs from the 2018 AGM on Sunday 25th February 2018 at the Mountbatten Centre, Portsmouth

 
 

The Chairman, Keith Gillett, opened the meeting and entertained us with stories of broken projectors, multiple venues booked, and (week) early arrivals for the meeting.

Andy Burt, NMC's Conservation Officer, provided an encouraging update on recent developments regarding the critically important issue of mullet conservation, particularly the new netting byelaws which have now been passed by the Cornwall~ and also the Devon & Severn IFCAs. He also presented a draft of the new National Mullet Club mission statement, a measure which was later strongly endorsed by Martin Salter of the Angling Trust. The intention is to state clearly and unambiguously where the Club stands with regard to the recreational capture of mullet and also with regard to wider concerns, including conservation and commercial exploitation. The next stage will be to produce a final agreed wording for approval by the Committee, which will then appear 'front and centre' on the NMC website homepage.

Martin Salter provided an update for the second successive year regarding the ongoing work of the Angling Trust. Later in the day, he presented an interesting and enthusiastic account of some of his overseas fishing adventures. The varieties of species included, amongst others, were kingfish and baramundi in Australia, peacock bass in the Amazon, and sturgeon in British Columbia. It was impressive to see his video of a sturgeon of over 100lbs leaping clear of the water, a species which can grow much larger than that, and which is clearly capable of challenging the most robust equipment.

 
 

Guest speaker Simon Pengelly from Southern IFCA reminded us of the breadth of work carried out by the IFCAs and gave an insight into the various interests represented within the decision-making component of their organisation, plus a valuable update on current developments. Southern IFCA, like other regions, has recognised the need to review netting byelaws, and a three-part information gathering exercise will be conducted during 2018, in preparation for the commencement of a consultation scheduled for November. It is expected that this will lead to revised legislation being put in place during 2019, and the meeting acknowledged the pressing need to contribute pro-actively to the consultation process, not only as a club, but also as individuals. During the assessment of the economic value of the recreational fishery, it will be extremely important to produce an accurate estimate of the large amount of revenue generated by anglers within the region, including, for example, but not exclusively, expenditure on tackle and bait purchases, accommodation and fishing charters.

 

Martin Salter exchanging information with Simon Pengelly; the document is titled 'Angling and Fisheries News; Inshore Netting Reform - IFCA Briefing February 2018' - click here to read it.

 

NMC's Andy Burt provides Simon Pengelly with a copy of a paper co-written with Dr Alan Buterworth, entitled 'Vulnerability and Over-Exploitation of Grey Mullet in UK Waters' - click here to read it.

 
  Also available on the day of the meeting was a copy of the paper 'Angling Trust Dossier on Inshore Netting Reform', a copy of which is attached here.

 
 

Presentation of Trophies for 2017:

 
 

Keith Gillett presents Mark Bennett with the Jerry Green Sussex Shield for his October 6/04 thicklip.

...and a second, the Hampshire Trophy, for his August 6/02 thicklip.

Paul Howe receives the Christchurch Trophy for his first 'leviathan', a truly superb 8/02 thicklip.

Keith Gillett collects the Dorset Trophy for his 4/03 thicklip.

 
 

Dave Matthews is awarded the Welsh Trophy for his 5/07 thicklip.

... and Paul Howe again, collecting the trophy for the largest thicklip of 2017, his outstanding 8/02 Christchurch fish.

Keith presents Kevin Stuckey with the trophy for the best thinlip, 4/04.

Keith Gillett collects his second trophy of the day, for the largest golden-grey mullet, 2/06.

 
 

The trophy for the best thicklip caught during an NMC fish-in during 2017 goes to Cliff Wilkins for his 4/14 fish.

Dave Matthews again, firstly being congratulated by Keith for his 2/00 golden-grey, the largest caught during a fish-in...

... and yet again, for the best fish caught during the National Rover competition in August, a 5/03 thicklip.

 
 

Photo credits: Alan Butterworth