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William Powell objects to proposed scallop dredging in Cardigan Bay

2016 Chwefror 24 2:50 PM
William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid & West Wales and Shadow Minister for the Environment, has expressed significant concerns regarding the proposed new management measures for the Scallop Fishery in Cardigan Bay. Responding to a recent consultation from the Welsh Government, William set out very firmly the reasons why he and the Welsh Liberal Democrats do not agree with the proposed introduction of a scallop permit scheme, which would apply to Cardigan Bay.
Commenting, William said:
"Scallop dredging can be one of the most damaging forms of fishing in the UK, and our party shares the concerns of many environmental groups that dredging of this kind would change the physical nature of the seabed, whilst also causing harm to the many different species that live in and on the seabed itself.
"A large part of Cardigan Bay was designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in 2004 largely because of the rich and varied marine life that it's home to, not least the widely celebrated population of bottlenose dolphins.
"Aside from the potential commercial benefits, it is not clear why the Welsh Government wants to reopen the area to potentially harmful activity, and we do not feel that sufficient evidence has been provided to allay the widely held concerns of environmental scientists, stakeholder groups or the general public.
"The Welsh Government's consultation also appears to rely heavily on one single source of scientific evidence and analysis, that being Bangor University's Fisheries and Conservation Science group. Whilst I am not questioning the quality or reliability of this source of evidence, I do not think that a consultation of his nature should be reliant on such a narrow base of research, and it is not clear whether other relevant sources of information were takeninto account.
"It is for these reasons that we I am urging the Welsh Government not to go ahead with these plans and to rethink their proposals."