Sea bed fear prompts fishing ban –

Sea bed fear prompts fishing ban Published:  28 March, 2008

FISHING for scallops has been banned in part of Cardigan Bay in West Wales over fears it could be damaging the sea bed in a special area of conservation.

A three-mile restriction zone has been placed around an area off the Ceredigion coast between New Quay and Cardigan, some 12 miles in length, reports BBC News.

The ban will be in place until November 1 when it will be reviewed by the fishing regulator.

It is feared that steel dredges used to net scallops are damaging the sea bed.

There has been a huge increase in scallop fishing between New Quay and Cardigan in recent years.

Martin Boyce, principal fisheries officer with the North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee, said the number of vessels authorised to work the area had increased from three to 34.

“We have to look at the environmental impact of fishing as well as stock levels,” said Mr Boyce.

“In order to protect the environment, we have imposed this restriction which prevents scallop fishing within three miles of an area of the bay.”

He added that fishermen breaching the bylaw could face a £5,000 fine.

“The ban was imposed on Monday and runs until May 31,” said Mr Boyce.

“However, from June 1 until November 1 is closed season for scallop fishing in the Irish Sea, so the ban effectively runs until November.

“We will review the situation then.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.