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Importance of Developing Aquaculture

WALES - Aquaculture in Wales is one of the important developing areas in the Welsh Assembly's strategy for the fishery industry in the country.


Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones said in her farm forum on Wales Online that the fish farming sector has "has attained a skill and knowledge base which is widely recognised as being at the cutting edge, which has resulted in inward investment, particularly to Anglesey, and there is a real prospect that further investment could follow."

The minister outlined the assembly's strategy for the industry that has been formed one year on from her taking office.

"The importance of fisheries must not be underestimated. Sea fishing is one of our oldest industries and in particular our inshore fisheries provide employment opportunities in rural areas," she said.

"The direct benefit of fishing to the economy is approximately 3,500 jobs and £200m income. Tourism is also an increasingly important element of the rural economy and recreational fishing attracts many thousands of visitors to Wales each year."

The Minister added: "The strategy looks at the future of the industry until 2020 across all sectors of aquaculture, commercial fisheries and recreational fisheries and is supported by an annually reviewed implementation plan.

"We have developed the strategy in partnership with all fisheries stakeholders, with whom myself and officials have a very productive working relationship which has been vital to the process.

"We have also worked closely with the national and local organisations with a responsibility to protect and manage the aquatic environment and its resources. To support the development of viable and sustainable fisheries in Wales while safeguarding the environment, a number of goals have been set out within the strategy. We want fisheries to be developed and managed in a sustainable way contributing positively to the environmental policies in place in Wales. We would also like to ensure healthy fish stocks which are developed and managed at sustainable levels.

"In addition, we want the positive community role of fisheries’ economic importance to be recognised, alongside its contribution to the development of the 'Wales' brand.

"Finally, the strategy stresses the importance of partnership working and commits us to develop the relationships already established between policy makers, stakeholders and delivery agents for fisheries.

"The strategy also recognises the importance of the rapidly developing Welsh aquaculture (fish farming) sector.

"The sector has attained a skill and knowledge base which is widely recognised as being at the cutting edge, which has resulted in inward investment, particularly to Anglesey, and there is a real prospect that further investment could follow.

"Together with the 16 million euro available through the European Fisheries Fund, to be match-funded by the Welsh Assembly Government, and the current consultation on changes to the management of fisheries, the strategy is a step towards securing the future of the industry."

Ellen Hardy

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