Calls to protect Cardigan Bay from scallop dredging

Environment, Habitat, Study -

Calls to protect Cardigan Bay from scallop dredging

Around 300 people signed a petition on Saturday (03/12/16) calling on the Welsh Government to protect Cardigan Bay from scallop dredging.

Aberystwyth University Nature Society hosted a Save Our Sea event at Aberystwyth bandstand

Aberystwyth University Nature Society hosted a Save Our Sea event at Aberystwyth bandstand.

The Welsh Government approved plans to reopen areas of Cardigan Bay to scallop dredging in October.

But opponents argue it is a "highly destructive fishing method".

The Welsh government said a two-year study found limited fishing was possible in specific areas.

Revised legislation was introduced in 2010 which imposed restrictions on scallop dredging in Cardigan Bay.

Scallop Dredging

Naomi Davis from the university's Nature Society said there was a great turn out at Saturday's event which included Aberystwyth Sustainability Society.

"I spoke to a lot of people and the general feeling seemed to be that few people in Ceredigion actually want this to go ahead."

She said Cardigan Bay was vital in supporting the UK's largest breeding population of bottlenose dolphins, the Atlantic seal, as well as a large variety of fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

Ms Davis added the Welsh Government had a "responsibility to protect all conservation areas from dangerous commercial practices" and to listen to local people.

Source: BBC NEWS

WILDCOVE - Habitat Destruction T-Shirt

WILDCOVE - Habitat Destruction T-Shirt

Cardigan Bay 

31/10/16:

Scallop fishing to restart in protected Cardigan Bay

Controversial plans to restart scallop fishing in a protected area have been approved.

Commercial scallop fishing ended at Ceredigion's Cardigan Bay five years ago when it became a special area of conservation.

Opponents claim scallop dredging is "a highly destructive fishing method".

But the Welsh government said a two-year study found limited fishing was possible in specific areas and would have no adverse impact on the area.

Under the new plans, a flexible permit scheme with new guidelines has been introduced to ensure the "careful management of the fishery" to "maximise the fishery and protect the site features at all times".

An advisory board of industry experts will advise on permit conditions and the scheme it will be reviewed annually.

Environment and Rural Affairs Secretary Lesley Griffiths said: "Based on this and the fact no new evidence was produced to suggest this fishery would have an impact on the protected features within the bay, I have decided we should not stand in the way of economic activity.

"I want to reassure everyone this will be a carefully and proactively managed fishery, with the number of fishing boats being monitored.

"I am reassured the proposed new flexible approach is proportionate and will enable us to consider appropriate areas and management mechanisms for the future of this fishery."

Jim Evans, of the Welsh Fishermen's Association, said the decision was a "positive step towards the sustainable management of our fisheries in Wales".

Source: BBC NEWS

Cardigan Bay