WALES, UK - A new minimum size for lobsters is to be phased in to improve the quality and sustainability of Welsh stocks, Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Rebecca Evans has announced.
The Welsh Government is currently carrying out a large scale review of fisheries legislation in line with its Marine and Fisheries Strategic Action Plan.
For the first phase of this work the Welsh Government has reviewed the profitable crustacean fisheries, which includes crabs, lobster and crawfish, and has consulted with the industry on some of the major issues faced.
Rebecca Evans said: “The crustacean fisheries are crucial to the Welsh fishing industry, with £3.8 million worth of crustaceans landed in Wales in 2012. Given the importance of this fishery to the Welsh economy it was one of the first to be considered in our wider review.
“Earlier this year we asked the industry for their views on this fishery and I have given serious consideration to the issues they raised.
“As a results of feedback from the industry I have now decided to phase in a larger minimum size for lobsters in North Wales to bring it in line with measure in south Wales. This will result in there being one minimum size across Wales, rather than the north/ south Wales split that currently exists.
“It will also allow lobsters more time to breed which will ultimately result in improved and more sustainable stocks and a better long term economic outcome for Wales’ fishing industry.”
As part of her statement to Assembly Members the Deputy Minister also announced she would delay considering a ban on the landing of female lobsters carrying eggs so that more evidence and research on sustainability issues and the economic impact of such a measure could be undertaken.
TheFishSite News Desk