1. ITV Report

Cockle fishing returns to Fylde Coast

Cockle picking Photo: PA

Cockle fishing will return to the Ribble estuary for the second time this year. The beds were meant to re-open on Monday but this was delayed because of the hazardous weather.

The beds were closed in November following dozens of rescues. Fylde Council says there will be strict conditions to ensure the safety of cocklers.

Fishing at the Foulnaze bed is to return under the same conditions as in August this year and include:

  • Strict control on new licences that cost £500 each.
  • Cocklers must operate from the Seafield Road slipway in Lytham
  • All cockles must be sold at sea and landed only at Preston dock
  • Boats and skippers must have safety licences
  • Fishing to be four days per week only, Monday to thursday in daylight hours
  • Permits only to be issued to people who can show they are registered for tax purposes

Allan Oldfield, Fylde Council Chief Executive, said:“Cockling returned for a short period in August and was very successful. Allagencies have worked closely with NWIFCA to ensure the same licence conditionsapply for this second short period of fishing. I have always advocated that there will be no winter fishing in theFoulnaze Bed because of the inclement weather and the restricted daylight sothe fishing will end in mid October.

“Cockling is a traditional activity on the shore thatprovides valuable employment for hard-working people – but our experience showsthat on the Foulnaze Bed it must be strictly policed to ensure the safety ofthe fishermen..

“We are pleased that NWIFCA has worked closely with all theagencies involved to ensure that only responsible fishermen are on theforeshore. The fishing in August was asuccess and with all the cockles being sold to the merchants on the Bed andtaken to Preston docks a lot of the noise and litter was reduced.”