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Minister for Environment urges fishing industry to prepare for no-deal Brexit

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THE FISHING industry needs to start preparing for a no-deal Brexit so that they can continue to import and export fish and fish products once the UK leaves the EU – that’s the message from the Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.

From 29 March 2019, in the event of a ‘no deal’, most fish and fish products will require a catch certificate for import or export between the UK and EU. This also applies to fishers who land fish directly into EU ports.

Catch certificates prove fish have been caught in line with established conservation and management measures. All non-EU countries are required to present catch certificates when trading with the EU.
 
The Welsh Government is holding a series of Brexit and Fisheries roadshow events over the coming week.  The events are aimed at helping the industry prepare for Brexit, share information and provide support about what documents and certificates are needed in a post-Brexit world.
 
The Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs said, “Let me be clear, I believe the best outcome for the fishing industry is a deal. A no deal would have a devastating impact on the sector and must be avoided at all costs.
 
“However we need to plan ahead for all eventualities and our fishers need to be prepared for a no-deal Brexit.  That is why they need to be aware of the processes they need to undertake to be able to transition smoothly to doing business outside of the EU.
 
“As a Government, we are doing all we can to support the sector prepare for Brexit and the challenges it brings.  Our forthcoming roadshow events will help the fishing industry know what they need to do to prepare and help put them in a position to adapt to the changing markets.  I urge all fishers to come along and find out more.”
 
A new IT system to process and issue export catch certificates, and other supporting documentation, is being developed to help streamline the process. Exporters will receive full instructions on how to register and use the new system before the UK leave the EU. Import catch certificates will continue to be processed through the current paper-based system.
 
In addition to documents required under IUU regulations, fish importers and exporters will also need to follow additional steps to comply with health and customs regulations, in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU Exit.
 
Fishers and fishing businesses can stay up to date with the latest advice on EU Exit on GOV.UK

To inform fishers of the new processes and address any questions, the Welsh Government is running a series of consultation events throughout January.

Dates and venues are below.
 
22nd January – Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire Yacht Club, SA73 3RS.
23rd January – New Quay, Black Lion Hotel, SA45 9PT.
30th January – Saundersfoot, Saundersfoot Sailing Club, SA69 9HE.
31st January – Bury Port, Bury Port Yacht club, SA16 0ER.

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Police officer was assaulted on Christmas Day

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A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Haverfordwest appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 15) to face a charge of assault by beating against a police officer.

Tiffany Rowlands, of West Court, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Gareth Potter on Christmas Day.

Prosecutor, Sian Vaughan said: “The officer was at the defendant’s property searching the childrens’ bedrooms.

“Rowlands pushed the officer to the chest, and after she calmed down apologised following the incident.”

Defence solicitor, Mark Layton, said: “There’s no record of any injury. They were upstairs, the lights were off so it was dark, and she realises it was wholly inappropriate.”

Magistrates fined Rowlands £40 for the offence and ordered her to pay £85 prosecution costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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Milford Haven: Booms to be removed following oil spill

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BOOMS installed earlier this month to contain an oil spill in the Milford Haven waterway will be removed tomorrow (Jan 17).

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and partner agencies have continued to survey the affected areas since the incident on 3 January and are satisfied that they have contained as much oil as possible.

Where oil has been found on local beaches, Valero’s clean up team have removed it under advice of NRW officers.

The investigation into how this incident, and the previous oil spill in December 2018, happened is ongoing.

Following further assessments and an inspection of the affected fuel pipelines, Valero now believe that no more than 500 litres of oil was released during the incident on 3 January – significantly less than originally feared.

But the pipelines will remain closed after NRW took action last week to suspend their use. NRW will not allow Valero to reopen the pipelines until it is satisfied they can operate without causing further damage to the local environment.

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales, said: “Following a swift response from everyone involved, much of the pollution has been contained and cleaned up quickly, reducing the impact it could have had on wildlife and the environment.

“Along with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any further reports of oil washing ashore in the coming weeks.

“Valero continue to support our efforts and cooperate with our enquiries into how the incidents happened. Our investigation also continues as we consider what further action we need to take to stop this happening again.”

NRW is asking people who live in the area to report any signs of pollution to their 24/7 incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.

The multi-agency response to this incident has involved the following organisations: NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Milford Haven Port Authority, Marine and Coastguard Agency, Public Health Wales, Food Standards Agency.

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Fishguard: Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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