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Written Statement - The Future of Historic Fishing Rights (Grandfather Rights)

Alun Davies AM, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

In 2012, I undertook a consultation on the future of historic fishing rights (known as Grandfather Rights) in the 0-6 nautical mile area of Welsh waters. I have now given due consideration to those complex issues raised and the response to my previous statements that I would be minded to move in the direction of the removal of those rights.  I, and my officials, have taken time to consider and review these matters, including all consultation responses received and stakeholder representations along with all the relevant evidence which is currently available to the Welsh Government.  

I recognise the importance of this matter for a large number of fishermen and other stakeholders and I want to make sure that I am in possession of all the relevant facts before I take a final decision. In order to provide me with the fullest possible overview of the issues involved, I have decided to undertake a further full consultation exercise.  

As part of this consultation, my officials will set out the relevant evidence which is currently available.  I will be asking stakeholders to contribute any further relevant evidence, information or views in order to ensure that I get the most complete evidence base possible upon which to take my decision.  The consultation will begin at the end of August and will last for 3 months. I will reach a decision on this matter early in the new year and will make a further statement at that time.