South West Wales

River Teifi salmon shortage reaching 'crisis point'

Coracle fishermen on the river

Coracle fishermen have said they will start returning any salmon they catch because of concerns about fish stocks.

The Teifi Coracle Netsmen have called on other anglers to also catch and release, as concerns mount about fish stocks in the River Teifi.

Natural Resources Wales figures show a decline in numbers, with just over 40 declared net catches on the river in 2015 compared to about 115 in 2014.

Declared rod catches were down from 300 in 2014 to just over 200 in 2015.

An NRW spokesman said the situation was approaching crisis point.

"It is coming to a fairly critical position, especially in light of salmon stocks.

"We're getting very close to being a crisis situation."

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Media captionMark Dellar says pollution is one of the reasons numbers are low.

Mark Dellar, a licensed coracleman from Cilgerran, told BBC Wales the decision was prompted by "the decline in the fish we're catching".

He added: "We want to make sure this fishing style is kept for our children in generations to come."

"I've been fishing for 15 years with the coracles and there's been a steady decline in salmon stocks over that period of time with numerous things going on in the river... pollution, predation at sea," he said.

"All the information we're getting from NRW indicates that salmon stocks are in decline, and we need to try and do something about that."

NRW plans to hold a consultation in May on widening catch and release practices across Wales, to help deal with declining stocks.

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