This consultation ended 1 October 2013.
Details of outcome
The purpose of the new cockle management proposals is to improve management and sustainability of both the marine environment and cockle fisheries in Wales.
A formal consultation to review the management of cockle fisheries in Wales was carried out last year. This will assist in delivering a new and revised management policy that is strict and fair for all cockle gathering. The responses we received indicated that we needed more research into:
- the methodology for allocating a permit
- an improved traceability system
- an apprenticeship scheme
- better regulation for all
- plus year round fishing by way of a total allowable catch.
A second consultation entitled 'Further Review of the Management of Cockle Fisheries in Wales 2013' is now launched with the aim of answering these outstanding issues.
This will be achieved by way of an AIl Wales Permit Scheme for commercial cockle picking in combination with a separate specific area permit scheme for the selected major cockle fisheries. The existing byelaw regulations are also proposed to change (or be revoked).
We also intend to introduce a new system of compulsory catch returns. The purpose of these returns is to improve the traceability of cockles for fisheries management purposes from the production area to processors. These documents will be required of all gatherers and processors in possession of cockles harvested from beds in Wales and will need to be produced when requested.
The Welsh Government will hold a database of shellfish collection records that will enable cross-checking against other records held by processors. We intend to share this database with appropriate stakeholders such as Local Authorities and the Food Standards Agency. An application for any permit will include an appropriate declaration regarding the acceptance of data sharing by relevant authorities.