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Last Updated: Wednesday, 11 February, 2004, 12:34 GMT
Mussel beds reopen
Mussels from the Wash
There is a dispute over mussel stocks in the Wash
Fishermen in Boston, Lincolnshire, say a partial lifting of a ban on mussel collection is too little to late.

A complete ban had been in operation to preserve stocks.

They are now able to harvest over 200 tons of the shellfish in the Gap Sands, in the Wash, which had been closed for 12 years.

The fishermen say the bed has been untended for so long, the mussels are covered in barnacles and cannot be sold.

'Day's work'

They claim they can only remove half the amount promised.

Arguments continue over the future of the beds.

English Nature wants a complete ban while the Eastern Sea Fisheries Joint Committee, which regulates fishing, says the stock is recovering.

Ken Bagley, a fisherman said: "There won't be a next year - our lads can't carry on like this.

Morecambe Bay

"There won't be any boats in Boston and our lads are trying to get a day's work.

"Some of them are at Morecambe Bay doing work where there's no restrictions.

"Here we try and get a living and the Eastern Sea Fisheries and English Nature stop us."

Eastern Sea Fisheries says that more beds will eventually be opened.

Fishermen 'will ignore ban'
22 Jan 04  |  Lincolnshire
Silt 'threat' to mussel trade
08 Jan 04  |  Wales

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