The Minister met with the Association’s Chairman, Jim Evans and listened to a presentation by Prof Michel Kaiser, from the School of Ocean Science Bangor, on the Sustainable use of Fisheries Resources in Welsh Waters.
Speaking after his visit the Minister, said:
“This was a very interesting meeting and I welcome the work of the Welsh Fishermen’s Association in addressing marine conservation. Their proposals outline a framework for taking forward marine spatial management on an ecosystem basis. The Association’s proposals, alongside the feedback we received to last year’s consultation, will be carefully considered in informing the next steps to establishing MCZs in Wales.”
The Association’s Chairman, Jim Evans, said:
"On behalf of the Welsh Fisherman's Association Ltd - Cymdeithas Pysgotwyr Cymru Cyf (WFA-CPC) I would like to thank the Minister and his officials for today's opportunity to clearly outline the WFA-CPC's considered proposals and the wider benefits and opportunities that can be achieved for all marine users through an eco-system based approach to the management of the marine environment.”
Last summer, the Welsh Government conducted a consultation setting out the science behind 10 potential highly protected site options. It sought to find out how proposed areas are used, how this might be affected by MCZ designation and how any effects on communities could be minimised.
Almost 7,000 responses, expressing a wide range of views, were received. A summary of responses is due to be published at the end of the month.
In November 2012, Environment Minister, John Griffiths, announced a period of additional work as part of the consultation process into designating MCZs in Wales.
A cross-cutting ‘task and finish team’ with members from government agencies and the Welsh Government has been established to advise and make recommendations. The group will report to the Environment Minister by the end of April 2013.
Later this month the Minister will meet with more Welsh Fishermen’s Association members when he visits Bardsey Island.