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Solway cockling future discussed

A meeting to determine the best way of managing cockling on the Solway estuary will take place tonight (18 October).

Marine Scotland will meet with local fishermen, politicians and landowners in Dumfries to discuss the future of cockling in the area.

The cockle beds have been the source of illegal poachers in recent years and concerns have been raised about their safety, because of the treacherous flow of the estuary.

The beds have been closed since September last year to allow stocks to recover.

It's hoped that tonight's meeting will allow local people a bigger say in how cockling is policed.

" Without the views and interests of the local people, then they might as well leave the fisheries shut and just let the poachers get on with it. Without those views then the whole thing is a bust frankly.

"I really hope that the message that comes out of tonight's meeting is that the Government are willing to work very closely with stakeholders to bring about a local fishery for the benefit of the local economy, this is a about localism and that's as it should be. "

– Alex Fergusson MSP, Galloway and West Dumfries, Conservative

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