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Welsh Scallop Fishermen Fight Ban

CARDIFF - Welsh Scallop Fishermen have joined forces with their colleagues around the UK and marine biologists to prevent the closure of the Cardigan Bay Scallop fishery, and are calling on the Welsh Assembly Government to undertake rigorous scientific research before attempting to ban scalloping.

The fishermen also vigorously deny suggestions made by environmentalists that scalloping harms dolphins – and the fishermen are supported by scientists in this claim. As Simon Northridge, Director of the Sea Mammal Research Unit at St Andrews University, said: “Although people are rightly concerned about the impact of scallop dredging on seabed habitats and the animals and plants that live there, there is no scientific evidence that links changes in seabed characteristics to the population health of either dolphins or porpoises.”

Mark Greet, Chairman of the Scallop Association said: “Welsh Scallop fishermen are vigorously committed to sustainability. That’s why they have already signed up for the Seafish Responsible Fishing Scheme, and aspire to see their fishery accredited as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, the “gold standard” in sustainability.”

“We are confident that the Welsh Scallop beds are sustainable, and we are certain that any suggestion of closing this fishery could result in economic disaster for fishermen, and a reduction in the Gross Value Added of the Welsh economy in the middle of the worst recession we have seen for sixty years.”

“That’s why we, as the Scallop Association of Great Britain, are happy to support Welsh Fishermen in their challenge to the Welsh Assembly Government. The WAG must undertake a rigorous scientific research programme into the impacts of scallop fishing before making any rash decisions about banning a fishery that is sustainable and provides valuable jobs and incomes to the local community.”

the Fish Site Editor

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