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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Request for increased scalloping prohibition welcomed.

Plaid Cymru's Penri James has welcomed the decision of the Minister for Rural Affairs, Elin Jones AM, to request a review of the current restrictions on scallop fishing.

On Tuesday (10 February), the Minister for Rural Affairs announced that she had asked her officials to request that the North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee extend the temporary scallop prohibition until 31 May and increase the area to six nautical miles from the coast.

Following the announcement, Plaid Cymru's Penri James said:

"It's been evident for a long time that action needs to be taken to address the increased scallop dredging in Cardigan Bay. This was first raised with the Minister during our meeting with Cllr Rob Gorman and Jill Evans MEP last September, and I'm glad that the Minister is finally in a position to take action on this matter.

"At the moment, there is no requirement for scallop dredgers to carry a satellite tracking device so that their positions and activities can be monitored onshore. The Isle of Man government has already introduced this requirement for the current scalloping season and I hope that serious consideration can also be given to introducing this requirement for scallop dredgers in Cardigan Bay.

"It is important that a long-term solution for this matter is found so that it can be implemented by the start of the new scalloping season later in the year. I therefore hope that the Sea Fisheries Committee will work with the Assembly Government to find the most practical solution and balance the needs of local fishermen with ecological concerns".

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