Urgent: proposed increase of net licence fees

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28 November 2020

During the 2020 Annual General Meeting on Saturday, we were horrified to learn that the Welsh Government and National Resources Wales propose to increase net licence fees for all holders - including the coracle net licences on the Towy, Teifi and Taf rivers - by up to over 120% for the Teifi licences in 2021. The sole reason for this seems to be to ensure the costs of administering these licences is fully covered by the fees collected.

In combination with the recent changes to the net licence bylaws, which prohibit catching of salmon and have reduced the fishing season by two months, this is the most serious threat to date to the future of coracle fishing and could wipe out this culturally significant way of life for good.

In the document outlining the options, National Resources Wales recognise that the option they have chosen (option 6):

  • Increase in duties would not address netsmen’s objections based on reduced opportunity to take fish;
  • Might lead to reductions in some traditional fisheries (e.g. Teifi coracle fishery would see an increase in duty to bring it into line with similar fishery on Tywi);
  • Sector would still fail to contribute to other fisheries service costs; to maintain, improve and develop fisheries (restoration, conservation and monitoring);
  • Sector would still require public subsidy from other sources

The Society will be sending an objection to this proposed increase in fees. If you would like to do so as well, please see the documents attached. Objections can be made by email (preferred in the current times) or by post, to be received by both the Welsh Government and National Resources Wales no later than Wednesday 2nd December