26/07/2009

Scallop Dredging Ban Proposed

The National Assembly has launched a consultation into scallop dredging which recommends banning or dramatically reducing the activity in much of Cardigan Bay.

Scallop fishing has become extremely controversial in recent years with large scallop trawlers clunking and scraping their way across the sea bed, scouring everything in their path. It’s reported that for every kilogram of scallops caught, 14kg of other species is destroyed at the same time. Scallops are now fetching £1865 per tonne, the demand recently being boosted by the recipes of celebrity chefs.

Cardigan Bay has two Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), designated because of the variety of animal and plant life. The Cardigan Bay SAC stretches from Moylgrove in North Pembrokeshire up to Aberarth in Ceredigion. The Pen Llyn a’r Sarnau SAC runs from Clarach, just north of Aberystwyth, round to Nefyn on the north side of Pen Llyn. At present around two thirds of these SACs are used for dredging.

The consultation proposes banning dredging in these areas and limiting the size of dredgers and their equipment everywhere else in time for the next dredging season starting on November 1st.

The consultation, being run by the Assembly's Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Elin Jones, can be found at:
http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/environmentandcountryside/3256249/?lang=en

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