Over 3500 tonnes of Dee Estuary cockles ready for harvesting by licensed cocklers in Flintshire
Dee Estuary cockle beds will open to licensed cocklers on 1 July Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has announced.
It’ll be the tenth year in succession the Dee Estuary cockle beds will open since a licensing system was introduced.
The system limits the number of people allowed to gather cockles so that the fishery is managed in a sustainable way.
Surveys this year show very good stocks of large cockles, due in part to the way the fishery was managed last year.
NRW has agreed that cocklers can harvest a total of 3,796 tonnes of cockles, which will be reviewed mid-way through the season.
One tonne of cockles can fetch between £1200 and £2000
Each licensed cockler will be allowed to harvest 500 kilogrammes a day, Monday-Saturday.
The cockle beds were closed in 2015 after surveys showed a serious drop in the quantity of cockles on the estuary.
NRW Operations Manager Nick Thomas said:
Opening for ten successive years is unprecedented and demonstrates that the fishery is being managed in a sustainable way.
We are striking the right balance, ensuring enough cockles for the industry, for the estuary’s important population of birds, especially oystercatchers, and to regenerate the beds for future years.
Our environment in Wales is the most important natural asset we have with the potential to generate more for our economy if we use it sustainably.
The ongoing success of the cockle beds in the Dee estuary is a great example of that.
Before the licensing scheme, there was a boom and bust cycle to the industry says NRW, with cockle stocks high, the beds would be cleared out in a matter of weeks by hundreds of cocklers, resulting in the beds being closed for several years.
Now, there are 53 licensed cocklers on the Dee.
They must adhere to regulations such as the type of equipment used, the hours when cockling can happen and a daily quota of how many cockles can be harvested. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com