Mea­sures on mus­sel in­dus­try to be dis­cussed as 60-year-old rules end

North Wales Weekly News - - POLITICS/ OPINIONS - BY DAVID POW­ELL

THE mus­sel in­dus­try on the River Conwy should be pro­tected with lim­its on boat sizes and rak­ing guide­lines now that 60-year-old rules have ended, a coun­cil claims.

Of­fi­cials are try­ing to gov­ern how the food is farmed on the river in fu­ture.

A Conwy com­mit­tee is sup­port­ing a bid by Conwy Mus­sel Com­pany, which is based on Conwy Quay, to take steps in­clud­ing:

Re­strict the num­ber of li­cences to a “rea­son­able” num­ber - about 12

Al­low boats no longer than five me­tres to be used for mus­sel fish­ing

Al­low only boats to ac­cess the mus­sel beds

Al­low only a long han­dled rake to be used for mus­sel fish­ing

Ban me­chan­i­cally hauled dredges for mus­sel har­vest­ing

Land mus­sels which are at least 45mm long

The mea­sures were due to be con­sid­ered by Conwy Har­bour Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee at 6pm yesterday (Wed­nes­day, June 24).

An of­fi­cer’s re­port rec­om­mends that the com­mit­tee sup­ports Conwy Mus­sel Com­pany in its ap­pli­ca­tion for a “Sev­eral Or­der” to reg­u­late the Conwy mus­sel fish­ery.

It comes af­ter a “Reg­u­lat­ing Or­der”, which has suc­cess­fully gov­erned mus­sel fish­ing on the River Conwy for the last 60 years, ex­pired.

The re­port states that a new Sev­eral Or­der will be ap­plied for through the Conwy Mus­sel Com­pany, which has been es­tab­lished on Conwy Quay for more than 20 years.

It says the com­pany has con­sulted with all those who hold a li­cence and col­lect mus­sels on the River Conwy, known as the Conwy Mus­sel Group (CMG).

The new or­der will in­clude all as­pects of the pre­vi­ous rules with no sig­nif­i­cant changes in terms of tra­di­tion, har­vest­ing, cul­ti­va­tion and sus­tain­abil­ity.

But it adds: “The Sev­eral Or­der will en­sure the pro­tec­tion of the mus­sel beds and the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment, en­cour­ag­ing a sus­tain­able in­dus­try.”

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