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New plans to ensure a vibrant fishing industry

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new plansNEW PLANS were launched on Tuesday by Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies which he says will help ensure a vibrant fishing industry in Wales.

Speaking in the National Assembly, the Minister launched Wales’ first Marine and Fisheries Strategic Action Plan and set out how the Welsh Government would use its powers to manage Wales’s seas sustainably and use them as a driver for economic growth in order to ensure the best long term outcome for the people of Wales.

Alun Davies said:

“Marine and fisheries continue to be a priority for me. This plan is the beginning of the next phase of effective management of Welsh seas and aims to ensure that Wales has a sustainable marine and fisheries industry that we can all benefit from and be proud of.

“In order to reach this goal we know we need a real focus on ensuring that our seas are a healthy marine eco-system. It is this focus on healthy and diverse seas that will ensure that Welsh waters deliver the best long term economic outcome for coastal communities and the people of Wales more widely and will help us maintain and develop a vibrant and successful fishing industry.”

As part of his statement the Minister reiterated his commitment to developing a Welsh National Marine Planning Process by 2015 to provide a basis for the sustainable use of Wales’ marine resource. The Welsh Government will start engaging with its partners on this work over the next month.

The Minister said:

“I want to establish a marine planning system that Wales can be proud of and which says to the world that Wales is open for business in the sustainable use of our seas, whether that be for fishing, transport, tourism or renewable energy purposes.”

In its Marine and Fisheries Strategic Action Plan the Welsh Government says it will: Create the right environment for new and existing businesses to prosper, in order to grow the coastal economy.

Simplify current administrative and licensing proceduresWork with local marine and fisheries businesses to make sure they can fully utilise the European funds available, notably the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF).

Develop marine policy so that it supports ‘blue growth’.

Aim to double Wales’ annual finfish aquaculture output from 1000 tonnes to 2000 tonnes by 2020Aim to double shellfish production from 8000 to 16000 tonnes by 2020.

Continue to develop three Inshore Fisheries Groups across Wales to improve the management of fisheries and develop partnership working between Welsh Government and Fisheries.

Establish industry groups to manage fishing quota levels in the most effective Way.

The Marine and Fisheries Strategic Action Plan sets out specific initiatives that the Welsh Governments will undertake to support marine and fisheries and also includes a timeline for activity. The full document will be available on the Welsh Government website.

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Met Office: More rain and flooding warnings for Wales

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ALTHOUGH the severe weather associated with Storm Dennis has passed, there is further wet and windy weather to come this week.

With much of the ground around the UK saturated from heavy rain over the last two weeks, further severe weather warnings are in force for some of the worst hit areas. Yellow National Severe Weather warnings for rain have been issued for southern and north west Wales on Wednesday evening and through Thursday.

Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “Further rain will arrive on Wednesday evening and this is likely to become prolonged and possibly heavy over areas of high ground. For example, there is a chance that 60mm of rain could fall in parts of south Wales over 24 hours. With the ground already saturated there is a chance of further flooding, members of the public should check their flood risk and stay up to date with flood warnings from Natural Resources Wales, SEPA, NI Direct and the Environment Agency.”

Blustery showers will continue through the day on Monday and Tuesday, particularly in the west, these showers are likely to fall as snow over higher ground especially in Scotland over 200m in elevation. Although there will be sunny spells for many, thunder and hail could accompany the heavier showers.

Under clear skies on Tuesday night pockets of frost are likely as more settled conditions associated with a brief ridge of higher pressure pass through.

Rain and increasingly strong winds will move in from the west on Wednesday morning spreading across the whole of the UK through the day. Rain will be persistent and heavy at times in Wales and north western England overnight and a further front will move through on Thursday bringing heavy downpours.

Storm Dennis brought wet and windy conditions after what was an unsettled week, with Storm Ciara bringing stormy conditions the weekend before. South Wales saw the most rain from Storm Dennis, with 157.6mm recorded at a Natural Resources Wales site in Crai Resr, Powys, between midnight on Saturday morning to 10:00 this morning (17 February). The highest wind speed recorded during the storm was 91mph on Saturday evening at Aberdaron, Gwynedd.

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Public should ‘be alert’ as flood water causes disruption across Wales

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NATURAL RESOURCES WALES is warning people to be alert as flood water causes disruption across Wales.

Coastal areas in west Wales have taken a battering, with Newgale flooding again.

The situation is stabilising, and river levels have started to peak but there are still warnings and alerts in place, and Natural Resources Wales are continuing to monitor the situation.

There are currently 2 Severe Weather Warnings, 83 Flood Warnings and 63 flood alerts in place across Wales.

Donna Littlechild, Duty Tactical Manger said: “Storm Dennis has caused significant impacts across Wales particularly in the south and west, from strong winds and heavy, persistent rain. With further rain forecast for the next few hours, we are urging people to heed advice from ourselves and emergency services.

“Our teams have been out day and night over the last 48 hours to reduce the risk to people and their homes. We have installed temporary defences to protect communities as much as possible, as well as deploying pumps, closing flood gates and supporting emergency services.

“Our thoughts are with those people who have been affected as we know how devastating flooding can be. If you’ve been affected, please keep safe and listen to the advice of the emergency services. Advice and information available about what to do if you’ve been flooded in available on our website”

People are advised to take extra care and allow extra time for their journey as driving conditions may be hazardous. People should also avoid walking or driving through any flood waters as it can be extremely dangerous. People should also avoid fast flowing rivers and streams as they could get swept away and avoid coastal areas.

Flood alerts and flood warnings are updated on the Natural Resources Wales website every 15 minutes and are available to view at www.naturalresources.wales/flooding

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Farmer Sean Burns has been given a 20 weeks custodial sentence

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THE FARMER behind the ‘farm of horrors’, Bramble Hall Farm, in Pembroke has been sent to prison following a sentencing hearing this morning.

Sean Burns has been given a 20 weeks custodial sentence, to commence immediately, for illegal dog breeding, animal welfare charges and other summary matters.

He was given an indefinite ban from keeping animals (which by virtue of the legal definition includes having any involvement or influence over the care or welfare of animals),

No costs were awarded against him due to prison sentence being instigated.

The date for the sentencing in Crown Court for operating an illegal slaughterhouse, related hygiene offences, supply of unsafe food and animal by-product offence is currently awaited.

The hearing took place in front of District Judge Chris James at Swansea Magistrates’ Court

FULL REPORT IN TOMORROW’S HERALD

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