Monday, September 08, 2008

Picking cocklers!

Under the strict supervision of Environment Agency Wales 50 licensed cockle pickers, paying £992 per year, will be allowed to return to the Dee Estuary in order to harvest cockles in an environmentally sustainable and safe way. Previously up to 400 cocklers would be working the Dee, giving rise to a boom and bust economy as cockle beds were over harvested and then abandoned as they became economically poor – to be harvested again when they had recovered.
It is estimated there are up to 9,000 tonnes of takeable cockles on the Dee Estuary - currently worth between £200 and £300 per tonne – and a third will be permitted to be harvested each year leaving the rest to ensure the crop regenerates and the beds remain viable.
This year’s season runs from September 1 until December 31. From next year the cockling season will run for six months from July 1 to December 31 depending on cockle numbers. No cockling is allowed at night or on Sundays.

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