Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs
Following a public consultation in 2017 seeking views on the future management of Welsh Whelk Fisheries, I am pleased to announce a package of management measures, developed in conjunction with key stakeholders, to ensure the long term sustainability of the Welsh Whelk Fishery. The measures will be developed into a new Welsh Whelk Statutory Instrument which will come into force in spring 2019 and will include:
- A phased increase in the size at which whelks can be retained and landed, from 45mm to 65 mm. This increase will occur in two parts with an immediate increase to 55mm from the date the Statutory Instrument comes into force, moving to 65mm a year from the date the order comes into force. This will ensure protection of immature whelks and enable them to develop and, in time, recruit to the fishery.
- A cap on the allowable total monthly landings of 20 tonnes per vessel, per month from January to September each year. This will be applicable to all vessels fishing in Welsh Waters.
- A cap on the monthly landings of 5 tonnes per vessel, per month during the biologically sensitive period from October to December each year. This will ensure protection of the breeding whelk stocks. This will be applicable to all vessels fishing in Welsh Waters.
This package of measures will work towards ensuring adequate protection of Welsh Whelk Stocks and the long term sustainability of the whelk fishery and the communities it supports.