P-05-778 Protect the Razor Clams on Llanfairfechan Beach  – Correspondence from the Petitioner to the Committee, 18.02.18

Dear Petition Committee Members,

Re: Comments for Petition Committee Meeting February 2018 – See emboldened sections for key points

Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments for the next Petition Committee Meeting.

Firstly, may I draw the Committee members’ attention to the fact that, as yet, no prominent Bye law notices have been placed at the beach entrances, to indicate that the razor beds are closed until December 2018.

In respect of the Cabinet Secretary for Energy, planning and rural affairs letter (February 2018), which states that the NATC Marine Centre has been given the contract for the researching razor clams around Wales. It is interesting that the letter notes there is currently no agreed best practice for assessing stocks of razor clams. This point echoes comments made by some of the Llanfairfechan residents attending the Public meeting held by Janet Finch-Saunders(AM) last July, when concerns were raised about the apparent total lack knowledge regarding the types/extent/density/overall health and potential environmental effects of over fishing of the razor clam beds on Llanfairfechan beach.

As has been stated previously, stories about overfishing are being played out across the planet, so it’s good to have the opportunity to do something positive to improve the environment at local level.  It is important that the people the Welsh Government select to conduct the research of the razor clam beds on Llanfairfechan beach that the researchers are apprised of fundamental concerns outlined within the ongoing documents and information about this Petition and the underpinning need for rigorous legislation to protect the razor clams on Llanfairfechan beach.

In addition; as evidenced in Cabinet Secretary’s letter; the lack of a current strategy for assessing razor clam stocks means that whoever conducts this research will be in the unrivalled position of being ‘map makers’ rather than ‘map readers’ in collecting evidence and setting benchmarks and recommendations which will inform 'fisheries' practices to help maintain this precious environmental area for the future.

Once again, I wish to thank the Petition Committee for continuing to take appropriate action towards dealing with some of the concerns within the initial remit of the petition.

Yours faithfully

Vanessa L Dye