3.4 The Fishing Ban 

As the extent of poisoning was not known, fishing within the polluted region was prohibited, first by a temporary ban. 16

This was of course a severe blow to Pembrokeshire’s fishing industry, as the oil threatened to make fish poisonous for eating and to diminish fish supplies in the region. On February 28, a ban was finally put on fishing within a certain area, prohibiting the catching of fin fish (such as herring, hake, ray, plaice and mackerel) and shellfish (lobsters, mussels, crabs and shrimps) and even the sale of some kinds of seaweed commonly used in some traditional Welsh dishes (e.g. laver bread).17 This area reached from St. David’s Head down to the Gower Peninsula in the southeast and included all estuaries and bays along the coast (as can be seen on the following map).18

As the contamination of fish was carefully analysed and monitored, the ban was gradually loosened. First the prohibition of salmon and sea trout fishing was lifted on May 3. On May 21, the fishermen received permission to catch again. From July 3 on, it was once more allowed to collect shellfish in the very east of the banned zone and also some other areas have recovered bit by bit. Within the Haven itself, however, this process seems to be taking longer, as it was very badly polluted and the enclosed area cannot be freed from pollution so easily by natural means as the open coastline.19


16 cf. SEEEC Report, p. 3 (1.2.3)
17 cf. SEEEC Report, p. 10 (3.4.6)
18 Map on the inside cover of the SEEEC Report
19 cf. SEEEC Report, p.11/12 (3.5.1)

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Last Updated: 29-01-10