North East Wales

Dee Estuary cockle beds to reopen with restrictions

Cockle rake and bucket Image copyright Natural Resources Wales
Image caption Each licensed cockler is allowed to harvest 500kg of day, six days a week

Fishermen in Flintshire are preparing for the reopening of the Dee Estuary cockle beds on 1 July.

A licensing system will be in place for the 10th year running, which limits the number of people allowed to gather cockles.

Recent surveys show "very good stocks" which Natural Resources Wales said was "due in part to the way the fishery was managed last year".

There are 53 licensed cocklers on the Dee.

Before licensing was introduced, there was a "boom and bust" cycle in the industry.

When stocks were high, the beds would be cleared quickly by hundreds of cocklers, which resulted in the beds being closed for several years.

They were also closed for a period in 2015 due to over harvesting and illegal picking.

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