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Still no decision by Welsh government on harmful dredging

A pod of bottlenose dolphins lives in Cardigan Bay

A decision by the Welsh government on potentially damaging dredging for scallops in a bay area inhabited by dolphins remains up in the air.

Over fishing around Cardigan Bay in the early 2000s led the Welsh government to close the scallop fishery, but 10 years ago a small section of the bay was re-opened.

In 2016, we presented a 27,000 signature petition to the Minister for Natural Resources – Carl Sergeant to represent your views. Dredging for scallops can cause considerable damage to the seabed which can have knock on effects for other wildlife like dolphins.

WDC was not happy with the Welsh government’s initial decision as there are other fishing methods that can and should be explored - for example Yorkshire Wildlife Trust have teamed up with people farming scallops using crates so the seabed is not scraped because the crates can easily be lifted.

Both fishermen and conservationists remain frustrated by lack of progress from the Welsh government on the issue.

‘If the Welsh government had spent two years looking at things like that, we might have got somewhere by now, but at the moment we're all up in the air’, says WDC’s Mick Green.

We will work with fishermen to ensure methods were as least damaging as possible, so that they make their livelihood and we still have our wildlife.’

Current rules allow dredging for scallops in one small area in Cardigan Bay for a limited period. Part of the bay is a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and home to over 100 bottlenose dolphins.

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