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New fishing quotas good news for Milford

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More catch: New fishing quotas agreed.

More catch: New fishing quotas agreed.

THIS WEEK saw a new deal brokered in Brussels on Britain’s fishing quotas, during an extended 30 hour set of talks. Fishermen in Britain have been told they will now be able to increase their catch of key fish, including cod, which will increase in 2015 by 5% from this year. This, however, comes in the face of scientific advice that suggests it should actually be cut by 20%. Speaking about the late-night deal, the UK’s fisheries minister, George Eustice, said: “Although these were difficult negotiations, I am pleased that we were able to secure the best possible deal to ensure sustainable fisheries and a strong UK fishing industry.

“While fishermen had feared there would be major cuts, we were able to keep the same quota as last year for many species, in addition to important increases to the North Sea cod and haddock quota, which will benefit Scottish fishermen.” There was also good news for UK fishermen in so much as they will now be allowed to catch 15% more prawns, 15% more plaice in the North Sea and a further rise of 6% in the Haddock catch, though there are reductions imposed in the Celtic Sea.

A reduction that could affect Welsh fishermen is that of sole yields in the Bristol channel. However, Andrew Clayton of the Pew Charitable Trusts, an organisation who advocate sustainable fisheries policy, said: “After decades of failing to get to grips with overfishing, the new common fisheries policy was supposed to bind ministers to setting sustainable fishing limits this year.

Instead, they have set a considerable number of [quotas] in excess of the level scientists advised, failing to meet the targets they set themselves for overfishing. “These are weak decisions, jeopardising the livelihoods of fishermen and the sustainability of stocks.” Adding to the concerns, was Greenpeace EU fisheries policy director Saskia Richartz, who said: “It is unacceptable that many of the fishing quotas agreed today fail to end overfishing. Ministers gave no justification for postponing action to recover fish stocks, despite new laws requiring that any delay is justified with appropriate evidence.”

The European commissioner for the environment, Karmenu Vella, said of the concluded deal: “We have succeeded in increasing the number of stocks that are now managed at sustainable levels. I can therefore say that sustainably managed stocks are now a broadly accepted concept across the EU. “This will allow fishermen to progressively reap more and more benefits in terms of higher catches for these stocks. “This is because science-based decision-making is increasingly becoming the norm.

We have worked with [ministers] to ensure that where we do not follow science, member states take the necessary decisions to avoid a real disaster happening later.” Speaking for the Port of Milford Haven – Alaric Churchill, Marina and Docks Manager told The Herald: “Quotas, like the weather, can have a huge impact on the livelihoods and businesses that depend on fishing in Pembrokeshire and we welcome decisions on quotas which will help boost sustainable fishing in Welsh waters.

As the owner of Milford Fish Docks, what we are doing is focusing on continuous improvement of the facilities and services available to the fishing fleets here in Wales’ busiest and most successful fishing port and creating more business opportunities for the industry here in Wales.” The manager added: “We promote the sourcing of sustainable and high quality seafood and are optimistic that fishing has a bright future here.

We have already begun work on upgrading the Fish Docks creating new fish processing units, offices and facilities for the dock’s inshore fleet. As part of the Milford Dock Master Plan we envisage seafood landed here playing a huge role attracting processing, retail and tourism businesses, creating further jobs and investment for the long term.”

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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