Jim Evans (left) of the Welsh Fisherman’s Association and Emyr Roberts of Natural Resources Wales sign the Memorandum of Understanding.
An agreement has been reached that will help Wales’s fishing industry to grow without harming the delicate environment beneath the sea.
Natural Resources Wales is to work more closely with the Welsh Fisherman’s Association to help build a sustainable industry in a way that doesn’t compromise the future for a healthy and diverse marine environment.
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Natural Resources Wales Chief Executive Emyr Roberts and Jim Evans of the Welsh Fisherman’s Association, sets out ways in which the bodies will work together.
The aim is to safeguard the livelihoods of fishermen and look after the natural resources upon which they rely.
This approach builds on firm foundations including the success on the Dee Estuary cockle beds, where regulation by Natural Resources Wales has helped establish a thriving, sustainable industry.
The closer working relationship will also help to build on effective collaborations such as the Fishmap Mon project, which has broken new ground in mapping commercial and recreational fishing activity gathered from over 600 fishermen in North Wales.
The project’s innovative web-based fishing activity maps give stakeholders and managers a unique level of detail about where different fishing activities take place, enabling a balance to be struck between preventing damaging activities and identifying those that can be undertaken sustainably.
As part of the new agreement, both organisations will seek to share scientific information so that decisions affecting Wales’s fishing industry can be based on sound evidence.
Emyr Roberts, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales, said:
“This agreement will help to support jobs and enterprise in Wales by building a closer working relationship between Natural Resource Wales and the fishermen of Wales, enabling a fishing industry that delivers sustainable use of natural resources while at the same time protecting the marine environment.
“Fishermen and shellfish cultivators make a valuable contribution to the stewardship and management of inshore waters.”
Jim Evans of the Welsh Fisherman’s Association said:
“Fishing is an integral part of the fabric and heritage of the coastal communities in Wales, socially and economically.
“The WFA welcomes the opportunity that this agreement provides and we look forward to working closely with Natural Resources Wales to ensure a vibrant ecological and economically sustainable future for fishermen and the marine environment in Wales.”