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 Saturday, 11 January, 2003, 12:28 GMT
Court move to halt cockle fishing
Cockles generic
Fife Council won a court order to halt harvesting
The harvesting of thousands of tonnes of cockles from a conservation area has become the subject of a legal challenge by a council.

Fife Council won a court order to stop a company removing cockles from Pettycur beach, near Burntisland.

Officials argued collecting would hit shellfish stocks in the area as well as disrupt other marine wildlife.

Last year, a ban on cockle-collecting was imposed on the Solway Firth coastline, in the south-west of Scotland, after environmental concerns were raised.

We are greatly concerned that, once again, the cockle companies are targeting the Fife coast

Councillor Bill Kay

Fife Council secured an interdict against an individual who was removing cockles from the council-owned beach, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, an EU-recognised status.

Officials said they would now work with Scottish Natural Heritage for complete ban on the collecting of the shellfish in Fife.

Councillor Bill Kay, the authority's environment spokesman, said he hoped the Scottish Executive would help protect beach areas from exploitation.

He said: "We are greatly concerned that, once again, the cockle companies are targeting the Fife coast.

"Industrial fishing on this scale could have a devastating effect on the local ecosystem."

See also:

13 Jun 02 | Wales
14 Aug 01 | Wales
17 May 02 | Wales
02 Aug 02 | Wales
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