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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 October 2006, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Cockling beds to reopen on Solway
Cockling will be able to start again on the Solway in November
Cockle stocks on the Solway Firth have reached sufficient levels to reopen the fishery in November.

A row broke out last month when the Solway Shellfish Management Association (SSMA) postponed the opening originally planned for 15 September.

The move came after a survey showed stocks on the Solway had fallen from 18,000 tons to only 9,000 tons.

Many cockle fishermen disputed the survey at the time. The beds will now reopen on 15 November.

A new survey of the whole area has revealed that stocks are sufficient to reopen the fishery.

We will have new powers to control the fishery and prevent poachers taking advantage
Jock Purdie
SSMA Chairman

One hundred hand rakers, six boats and a tractor have been given the go-ahead by the SSMA from the middle of next month.

The reopening date has been welcomed by Jock Purdie, chairman of the SSMA, who said it was good news for everyone involved.

He added the proper controls were finally in place to tackle the problem of illegal fishing.

"We will have new powers to control the fishery and prevent poachers taking advantage," he said.

"The new legislation has been brought in and the police and fishery protection officers will have all the powers necessary to stop the poachers."

Cockle fishing on the Scottish side of the estuary was banned in 2002 to allow stocks to recover.

The beds briefly reopened earlier this year before being shut down again for the summer closed season.

Cockling emergency plans drawn up
14 Sep 06 |  South of Scotland
Solway cockling set for new ban
30 Jun 06 |  South of Scotland
Cockle rescuers scrambled again
06 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Third rescue of stranded cocklers
05 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Coastguard fury at Solway rescue
29 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Safety summit for cockle fishery
21 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Solway Firth rescue investigated
20 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Legal cockling returns to Solway
17 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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