Cockle beds to stay shut for now

Cocklers in Lytham after the Ribble cockle beds were re-opened in August.
Cocklers in Lytham after the Ribble cockle beds were re-opened in August.
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THE authority responsible for cockle fishing has announced the Ribble Estuary’s beds are to remain closed.

Cocklers were allowed on to the Foulnaze banks in August after they were given special permission by the North West Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority (NWIFCA) - but it means the beds will not be open for the traditional cockling season, which began on Saturday.

A bye-law issued by NWIFCA states the beds, which are accessed off Seafield Road in Lytham, will remain closed until April.

A notice from NWIFCA states: “With stocks throughout the Ribble cockle beds at a generally low level, the NWIFCA has resolved to close the entire Ribble estuary to cockle fishing from September 1.

“The closure applies to all people fishing for cockles, whether for pleasure or profit, and whatever the fishing method.”

During the three week period the beds were open, 800 tonnes of cockles were collected - exceeding the 750 tonne limit set by Natural England.

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