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Written Statement - Review of the Legislation Managing the Welsh Crustacean Fisheries

Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food

In my Plenary Statement on the Marine and Fisheries Strategic Action Plan for Wales on 
26 November 2013, I set out the Welsh Government’s ambitions in relation to the management of our fisheries during this session. Those ambitions included the intention to review the management of crustacean fisheries around Wales. I want to see a viable and sustainable Welsh crustacean fishery with simple and effective legislation.  

My officials have considered the options for management of Lobsters, Crawfish, Edible Crab, Spider Crab and Velvet Crab.  Phase I of the review relating to those species will address minimum size requirements as well as measures to protect the breeding stock of lobsters in Wales.

The management of this fishery is currently hampered by historic legislation which sometimes overlaps, duplicates and contradicts itself. Where relevant, I intend to revoke the current legislation and introduce a suite of relevant and coherent measures which will simplify management and enforcement of the Welsh crustacean fishery and ensure long term sustainability.

Phase II of the crustacean review will explore the possibility of additional conservation measures which currently require more evidence before they can be considered for introduction.  Industry opinion is, however, invited on these preliminary proposals, which include the possibility of maximum landing sizes and escape gaps in crustacean pots.  

I have today launched a public consultation of the proposals for 12 weeks, with the intention of implementing the legal process for drafting new legislation regarding Phase I in the summer of 2014.  Please click on a link below to view the consultation document.