Morecambe Bay cockling tragedy: Council’s role in new regulation

Councillor Karen Leytham.
Councillor Karen Leytham.

A city councillor has welcomed the stricter regulations on the bay which came in following the tragedy.

Coun Karen Leytham, cabinet member with responsibility for environmental health, said: “Following this terrible tragedy, the council repeated its call for a national licensing scheme which it believed would control conditions and minimise the risks associated with shell fishing in such a hazardous environment.

“The news that the North Western and North Wales Sea Fisheries had introduced a more robust permit system restricting the numbers of people fishing in Morecambe Bay was welcomed as was the introduction of a law relating to gangmasters.

“Unfortunately, the treacherous Morecambe Bay is still claiming lives. To help improve the co-ordination of responses to problems arising from people accessing Morecambe Bay, the council continues to liaise with other agencies and is a member of the Morecambe Bay Joint Liaison Group.

“Being responsible for Morecambe promenade and its foreshore, the council is able to control access to the bay via a number of designated slipways along Morecambe promenade with a permit scheme. This requires applicants to provide proof of insurance and that their vessels and any vehicles are registered before access is permitted.”