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Sea anglers could be forced to record everything they catch turning a popular hobby into a laborious form-filling exercise under new EU plans.

The policy, designed to protect vulnerable species offt he South Coast, will mean the controversial quota system will be applied to all sea anglers for the first time.

The European Commission believes the move, which will be debated by Euro MPs in April, may be necessary to protect fish stocks off the South Coast from overfishing.

The idea is to bring fishing under the direct control of the European Parliament.

It has already been branded total lunacy and a nightmare in the making by pro-fishing groups, who claim each boat or dinghy will have to be registered and every possible launch point policed.

Recreational anglers hit out at the proposals, saying they would be a waste of time and would be difficult to enforce.

Greg Brownrigg, who lives in Worthing and fishes out of Shoreham, claimed some recreational rod and liners caught up to 250 cod a day, while he and his commercial colleagues had been banned from catching any cod for many months.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: "This is one of a number of proposed changes we need to examine carefully.

"We are speaking to anglers. The commission's proposal is very detailed and we will be consulting all interested parties as soon as possible."

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