West Wales Coracle Caught Sewin awarded protected status

01 April 2017

Just one month after West Wales Coracle Caught Salmon was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status - applied to foodstuffs such as Wensleydale cheese, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Arbroath smokies, West Wales Coracle Caught Sewin has been awarded PGI status this week by the European Commission. PGI status is an indicator of a product's authenticity and strong links to a specific region. The awarding of PGI status to West Wales Coracle Caught Salmon will bring more awareness to this unique part of British heritage, which continues to face threats of reduced licencing. It is also a testament to the extremely high quality product produced by the Teifi, Taf and Towy coracle netsmen through this traditional fishing method.

The following statement was published on Thursday 30th March

West Wales Coracle joins becomes latest member of Wales’ Protected Food Name family

The reputation of Wales’ thriving food and drink industry has received yet another boost after coracle fishing for sewin was awarded Protected Food Name status by the European Commission.

It joins other great Welsh produce such as West Wales Coracle Caught Salmon, Conwy Mussels, Welsh Lamb and Halen Môn/Anglesey Sea Salt that have been awarded Protected Food Name status. In total, eleven Welsh products have now been awarded PFN status.

Under the EU’s protected food name scheme certain food and drink products receive Europe-wide legal protection against imitation and misuse.

The Welsh Government has supported Carmarthen Coracle and Netsmen’s Association over the past four years during the complicated and extensive application process for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status.

A coracle is a small round boat, similar in shape to half an Easter egg, made traditionally from woven willow or ash and originally covered in animal hide, now covered with a tarred calico or canvas. Unique to coracles, the fishing nets also have to be hand made and the size governed by strict regulations enforced by National Resources Wales (NRW), thus allowing smaller fish to swim through.

The sewin is caught in a 5-month season, starting on the 1st March on the River Tywi and Taf and the 1st April on the River Teifi, with no fishing permitted at weekends.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:

“I am delighted coracle fishing for sewin has been awarded Protected Food Name status.  I would like to offer my congratulations to the Carmarthen Coracle and Netsmen’s Association and I am pleased the Welsh Government was able to support them during the application process.

“Our Protected Food Name basket continues to grow, which is a tribute to the dedication of our producers to quality.  This recognition is important because as we prepare for a future outside the EU we will be able to demonstrate to potential new markets that Wales produces a wide range of high quality food and drink products.