Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 16:29 UK

Tougher rules on scallop fishing

Fisheries experts have been monitoring scallop stock levels

New restrictions on scallop fishing off the Welsh coast are being introduced by the assembly government.

Rural Affairs Minister Elin Jones has approved measures which are aimed at preserving stocks and the Cardigan Bay sea bed.

A ban on fishing for scallops is being extended by a month, running from June to the end of December.

Boats using bottom-towed fishing gear will also be banned from an area off the Lleyn Peninsula.

Scallop fishing in that location is already prohibited, but it is hoped the new byelaw will help protect fragile reef structures in the area and beds where horse mussels grow.

Ms Jones added: "Protecting stocks of scallop is important for the species itself and also for the fishing industry.

The new regulations were proposed by the North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries Committee, which overseas the fishing industry.

It follows reviews of an initial ban on scallop fishing that was introduced in March.

Sea bed fear prompts fishing ban
27 Mar 08 |  Mid Wales
Scallop survey results defended
22 Jan 08 |  Isle of Man

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