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Shellfish: Dredging

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on legislation to establish powers to prohibit scallop dredging in Welsh waters. (254264)

I recently discussed with the Welsh Assembly Government provisions in the Marine and Coastal Access Bill that will abolish Sea Fisheries Committees and provide Welsh Ministers further powers to manage fisheries, including scallop dredging, in Welsh waters.

At present local authority Sea Fisheries Committees are taking the lead role in managing scallop fisheries, within six nautical miles of the Welsh Coast. The Welsh Assembly Government have existing powers to regulate scallop dredging in Welsh waters—principally section 5 of the Sea Fish (Conservation) Act 1967.

I understand that discussions are taking place between WAG and other relevant organisations to develop a joint approach to seek to manage the situation in Cardigan bay.