Catch and Release Consutation – Press Release from Plaid Cymru

“For immediate release – Friday 22nd September 2017

Fishing industry concerns raised with Government

Plaid Cymru shares fishing restriction fears of Carmarthenshire anglers

Carmarthenshire anglers were the focus of questions in the National Assembly this week as local AM Adam Price raised concerns against
proposals to introduce restrictions on the Towy and Teifi rivers. The proposals from Natural Resources Wales (NRW), which are currently
out for consultation, include a complete ban on bait fishing and a 100% catch and release policy in an attempt to combat dwindling levels of
salmon, sewin and sea trout – moves a number of local angling clubs and associations say will devastate the industry.

Questioning the Welsh Government’s Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Plaid Cymru AM Mr Price told the Minister that the
proposals do not address all of the reasons for these dwindling stock levels, and that many anglers believe Natural Resources Wales is only
looking at the easiest target.

Responding to the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM, Cabinet Secretary Lesley Griffiths noted that the fishing industry is worth £100million
to the Welsh economy, and agreed it was vital that the views of local fishers were taken into consideration.

Speaking after his question, Adam Price AM said:

“I have been contacted by several angling clubs raising their concerns about the negative effect that the NRW proposals – most notably the
complete ban on bait fishing and a 100% catch and release policy – will have on their clubs. Fishing isn’t just a hobby, of course. It is a
vitally important industry in my constituency, and across Wales.

“Pollution, changes in the seas and birds of prey all have an influence in the dwindling stock numbers of these fish. Local anglers therefore
see the NRW proposals as the easiest solution to a problem that has many more contributing factors.

“My question to the Cabinet Secretary was to emphasise that anglers have very real fears and want those fears heard right at the heart of

“Natural Resources Wales must look comprehensively at all causes of dwindling stock levels and not just target anglers.”

Member of Parliament for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards added:

“Most if not all anglers and their societies have voluntary catch and release policies. They know the value of stock levels to the long term
sustainability of their hobby and industry.

“It is imperative that the Welsh Government doesn’t allow anglers to be the easy target by Natural Resources Wales. Simply targeting anglers
without looking at all contributing factors is a sticking plaster solution and will do little to get to the heart of the problem. I can assure local anglers and their associations that we will be keeping a very close eye on these proposals to ensure they are fair and proportionate.”