Reserve seeks to curb fishing

Reserve seeks to curb fishing

Skomer Island is the only marine nature reserve in Wales
Commercial fishing may be phased out to protect wildlife and the sea bed at Wales’ only marine nature reserve.

Recreational anglers and divers also face restrictions at Skomer Island under plans being put forward by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW).

It has proposed a new byelaw that would eventually create the first zone where commercial fishing is banned in Wales.

The CCW said it had concerns about the future of several fragile marine habitats off Skomer.

It is hoped that an area free from the removal of any living resource will give valuable opportunities for research – Phil Newman, CCW

The proposed byelaw, which will be discussed by the South Wales Sea Fisheries Committee at a meeting in Swansea on Friday, would stop the taking of any finfish or shellfish with two exceptions.

Recreational fishing with hook and line, both from the shore and sea, would be allowed in one designated area of the marine nature reserve (MNR) popular with anglers and charter boats.

Phil Newman of the CCW said: “This is a concession to the local community, which not only benefits economically from anglers who come to fish from the shore, but use it widely themselves.”

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