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New €7m EU investment in Wales and Ireland’s fisheries industry

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Fishing boat: In Milford Haven

MORE than €7m of EU funds will be invested in science and technology projects to help protect and develop the marine life and the fisheries industry in Wales and Ireland.

The funding will support a scientific investigation of the opportunities and risks posed by climate change in the Irish Sea and the deployment of technology to reduce energy costs and help businesses develop new products and processes.

Both projects are being funded through the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme, which is helping to strengthen economic links and cross-border collaboration between the two countries.

Welsh Government Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford, said: “These projects bring together expertise from both nations to support an industry in Wales and Ireland that shares the same opportunities, challenges and resources within the Irish Sea.

“Collaborative schemes like these are why we are clear about the advantages to Wales of ongoing access to territorial co-operation programmes, including the Ireland-Wales programme, when the UK leaves the EU.”

Irish Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D. said: “I am delighted to see the launch of another two projects under the Ireland-Wales programme.

“This is a clear demonstration of our continuing commitment to the programme. It also underlines the importance of EU funding for scientific research into areas of shared interest.”

Around €5.5m of EU funds will support the Bluefish marine science partnership, which will investigate the effects of climate change in the Irish Sea on the sustainability of fish and shellfish.

Led by Bangor University, in partnership with Irish and Welsh organisations, the project will assess how climate change is affecting the health of fish stocks, the migratory movement of commercial fish, and risks from new non-native species.

The project will develop solutions to help fisheries businesses adapt to environmental changes in the Irish Sea and capitalise on new commercial opportunities.

Dr Shelagh Malham, senior research fellow at Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences, said: “We need to maintain a sustainable food supply chain.

“The combination of research between academic partners and collaboration with industry partners will ensure these vital industries receive the information and support they need to be more resilient to the changes the industry is facing and will continue to face in coming years, and to react to opportunities.”

A further €1.8m of EU funds will support the piSCES project, which will develop and test a new ‘smart grid’ electricity network to help reduce energy costs for the fisheries industry in Ireland and Wales.

The Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG) at Waterford Institute of Technology will research and design new energy networks in collaboration with Cardiff University, while Milford Haven Port Authority and Ireland’s seafood development agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), will work with businesses in the fish processing sector to provide live data and test sites.

piSCES aims to help fisheries businesses in remote locations minimise their exposure to energy price peaks, reduce their carbon footprint and improve the quality and security of energy supply.

Sean Lyons, project manager at TSSG, said: “TSSG is delighted to have secured EU funding through the Ireland-Wales programme for the piSCES project, which will see us further develop smart grid technologies and implement them in energy-intensive operations in the fish processing industry.

“Collaborating cross border with our partners will bring together a wealth of experience from an R&D and implementation perspective and expose the technology to different regulatory environments bringing significant benefits to the industry.”

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Police and drugs advice service issue warning over ‘deadly batch’ of heroin

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POLICE have asked the media to issue a warning over a batch of heroin.

The drug circulating in west Wales, first detected in Llanelli, is particularly dangerous, it has been confirmed.

“We are warning drug users to take extra care following reports of a particularly harmful batch of heroin circulating in the Llanelli area” said a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson.

“We have reasons to believe some drugs being distributed and used in the Carmarthenshire area at present have been contaminated with other substances and could be extremely dangerous for anyone taking them.

“We would also appeal to drug users to seek medical attention immediately if they become unwell.

“Please share this information with anyone you believe could come into contact with these drugs.

”In an emergency or if you think someone’s life is at risk always dial 999.”

Earlier this week Barod, the drug and alcohol abuse service reported a dangerous and toxic heroin circulating in Pembroke Dock which a spokesperson described as being ‘potentially deadly’.

To comes as Public Health England issued a formal alert about the risks of heroin containing fentanyl or carfentanyl.

The warning reads: “There is significant evidence from a small number of post-mortem results of recent drug user deaths and from police seizures that some heroin may contain fentanyl or carfentanyl added by dealers.

“These are highly potent synthetic opioids and very small amounts can cause severe or even fatal toxicity.

“Those of you in contact with heroin users should be alert to the increased possibility of overdose arising from heroin cut with these synthetic opioids, be able to recognise possible symptoms of overdose and respond appropriately.”

The fentanyls are a group of synthetic opioids; some have legitimate uses while others are illicit drugs.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and is a licensed medicine used to treat severe and terminal pain. Carfentanyl is 4,000 – 10,000 times more potent than morphine and principally used as an animal tranquilliser.

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Tenby’s famous walrus ‘Wally’ has been spotted again

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TENBY’S most famous marine animal has been spotted again after fears she had been scared away.

Wally was spotted on Friday evening by the seaside town’s Lifeboat station.

Thought to be a two-year-old male, the walrus’s return comes after it was feared she had been disturbed by people flocking to catch a glimpse of her and “getting too close”

The animal has attracted hundreds of people to the seaside town now that the travel restrictions with Wales have been lifted to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Wally was last seen on Monday, but  members of the public were warned it was in the animal’s “best interests” to be “left alone” as much as possible and they were urged to “avoid the temptation to get near and disturb” her.

A joint statement was issued by the RSPCA, Tenby harbour master Chris Salisbury, Welsh Marine Life Rescue, Tenby lifeboat coxswain Phil John, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Natural Resources Wales and CSIP Marine Environmental Rescue said that they were concerned to hear that people had tried to get close by using personal watercraft or paddle and surfboards.

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Police plan to deter badly behaved youths from gathering in Tenby

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POLICE in Tenby responded to community concerns over antisocial behaviour and groups of between 15-20 youths gathering and clashing over the Easter bank holiday weekend. They moved the youths on, seized alcohol from them and stopped matters escalating when there were clashes between the groups. And they have a clear message ahead of this weekend – there will be extra police patrols and presence in Tenby, including on the trains, so this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers used powers under the Antisocial Behaviour Act to disperse groups of youngsters meeting to drink alcohol in and around Tenby, many of whom had travelled by train to the area to meet up.

Based on these scenes from last weekend, plans are in place as part of a joint operation with Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers and British Transport Police, to address and prevent any further gatherings.

A Section 34 Order is in place covering Tenby, which allows officers to move people out of the area and prevent them from returning for up to 48 hours.

Sergeant Stuart Wheeler said: “Following last weekend we had some concern from the community of Tenby, due to antisocial behaviour related to the groups of youths from Pembroke, Pembroke Dock and Tenby, and subsequently those groups clashing. Alcohol consumption by these youngsters was a factor.

“Proactive action was taken, and we are keen to avoid a repeat of this behaviour this weekend, and have therefore put plans in place. Additional resources have been allocated, which will allow us to respond quickly and prevent matters from escalating.

“Tenby Neighbourhood Policing Team and response officers, will be carrying out high visibility patrols in the area, covering areas known to be popular with youngsters. Pembrokeshire County Council licensing officers will be assisting us in ensuring youngsters can’t buy alcohol in the area by visiting shops and reminding them of the laws around selling alcohol, and if they bring it with them it will be seized. And our colleagues in British Transport Police will be patrolling the train network to prevent problematic groups getting to Tenby by train.”

Police are also appealing to parents and carers to know where their children are, and what they are doing.

Sergeant Wheeler added: “We would like to appeal directly to parents to be aware of where their children are, and prevent them from gathering in large groups. This type of behaviour is distressing for people living and working in Tenby, and we are urging you to be accountable for your children’s actions.

“We understand that the past few months have been difficult, and that children want to see their friends, but remember that only 6 people from 2 households can meet outdoors still. Please do your best to ensure they are adhering to regulations that are in place for all our safety.”

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