Securing a Sustainable future for Wales’ cockle fishing heritage

The Cockle Fishing Management and Permitting (Specified Area) (Wales) Order 2024 will simplify regulations and give the Welsh Government new tools to flexibly manage each cockle fishery in response to evidence about the health of the stock and the environment.

Cockle gathering has a long and well-documented history in Wales. In modern times its economic importance has increased, and it is now acknowledged as making an important contribution to the Welsh fishing industry. 

Cabinet Secretary for Climate Change and Rural Affairs, Huw Irranca-Davies said:

I am pleased to be able to announce the introduction of this new legislation which will help to ensure cockle fisheries in Wales remain environmentally sustainable and economically viable for the future.

Gatherers and local communities are proud of their heritage and this new legislation will promote cockle gathering as a legitimate and sustainable occupation for future generations. 

This Order will have a positive impact on well-being by supporting economic growth through the continued operation of long-standing and historically important fisheries.

New checks on permit applications will ensure cockle gathering is undertaken by those with knowledge of how to work safely in intertidal environments.

Robust scientific evidence and flexible management will ensure exploitation of the cockle beds is sustainable in the long-term and does not impact the important intertidal habitats and species which live nearby.