A SENIOR member of the Teifi Trout Association (TTA) has raised concerns over ‘restrictions’ that he fears may be put in place by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) regarding salmon fishing in the River Teifi and throughout Wales.
Secretary of the TTA Gwyn Morris has said that NRW is looking to introduce a ban on salmon fishing and introduce restrictions on fishing methods such as bait fishing.
The TTA currently has around 200 members and owns a n approximate 20 mile stretch of water in the Teifi. The fishing strip has received considerable investment in its time, some of which has been sourced through grant funding.
In the late 1980s, Gwyn said that the TTA had initially purchased a strip (which spanned several miles), in part, by using funds that involved a £50k grant from Ceredigion Council. The area also received National Lottery funding for several disabled platforms which can be found along the river.
Gwyn said: “They [NRW] can’t tell us when this ban is coming in. They’re trying to fetch this legislation in, but they’ve got to go through Welsh Government. We’re opposing it being passed if we can.”
Gwyn also raised concerns about the TTA’s disabled members, most of whom rely on bait fishing, something Gwyn expects to be banned.
He said: “With our members now, most of them are getting older, you’ve got more disabled every year, and that’s what we have to try and hit them with now, they’re depriving the disabled.”
With reference to statistical evidence he had received at a meeting at University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Gwyn also argued that there had been a 23% increase in salmon numbers in the Teifi.
Having spoken to Gwyn, the Herald contacted the NRW where we got through to Principal Communications Officer, Martyn Gough. While Martyn acknowledged that numbers of adult salmon may well have increased (he could not confirm this either way), he did point out that NRW was currently more concerned with salmon fry numbers which have been declining across the country.
Martyn said: “We’re still very much at the stage where we are investigating the reason for this decline in the numbers and we will take steps eventually, but what they are we don’t know at the moment.”
Martyn went on to dismiss claims of a potential ban, adding: “It’s a problem that we need to address but it is something that we’re still investigating and because of that, we haven’t made any decisions on restrictions or any sort of ban that may or may not take place; that’s a discussion for once we’ve collated all the evidence.
“As you can image, there’s an awful lot of rumours and gossip around the situation. At the moment, there is nothing of that nature in the pipeline.”
When discussing the cause of decreasing salmon fry numbers, Martyn was quick to dismiss over-fishing as a major cause, and instead pointed to something else. He said: “We think that it may be related to last years wet and warm winter, we don’t think this is a case of overfishing. The evidence, and again we’re still investigating this, but the evidence points to something to do with climate change. “
The only scheme that NRW currently promotes is a voluntary catch and release scheme.
Man denies £7,000 burglary
A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.
Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.
Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.
Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.
Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings
CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.
The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.
To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsult
Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.
Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.
However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.
“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.
“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.
“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”
Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.
The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.
Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.
Police crack down on drink and drug driving
NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.
The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.
98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.
Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.
“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”
In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.
Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.
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