The Minister agrees her team to meet John and Chris: congratulations on persistence chaps and good luck

Lesley Griffiths AC/AM

Gweinidog yr Amgylchedd, Ynni a Materion Gwledig Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs

Eich cyf/Your ref

Ein cyf/Our ref LG/7611/19 Chris White

Llywodraeth Cymru Welsh Government

Ni                          January 2020

Thank you for your letters of 10 and 13 December, regarding your ongoing concerns about my decision to approve the All Wales byelaws (AWB) and my recent decision to delay the proposed introduction of regulatory measures to address agricultural pollution pending further consideration.

Whilst I understand you are not happy with the recommendations of the Local Inquiry and my resulting decision to confirm the AWB, I am content these byelaws were carefully scrutinised as part of the impartial Local Inquiry process and all parties were given the chance to put forward their views. The inspector’s recommendation report confirmed the Natural Resources Wales’ byelaw proposals were necessary, proportionate and reasonable in view of the decline of salmon and sea trout stocks throughout Wales and alternative voluntary measures would not be suitable.

I’ve taken the decision to delay the proposed introduction of regulatory measures to address agricultural pollution, to enable me to consider all the evidence provided by the Farming Unions and wider stakeholders before I take a final decision. However, this is not a valid reason to defer the AWB coming into force, as all additional fish returned alive under the new compulsory regulations, will help contribute to the recovery of salmon and sea trout stocks. The AWB for salmon and sea trout will come into force on 1 January 2020.

As you know, I have also asked NRW to put together a Plan of Action (PoA) for salmon and sea trout. The PoA aims to set out all the current work being carried out by various parties to combat the issues impacting upon our fish stocks, as well as identify any gaps and new actions. Reversing the decline of salmon and sea trout stocks will be a challenge and the PoA will only be successful if everyone with an interest in salmon and sea trout contributes. Therefore, I am glad you are working closely with NRW as part of the Wales Fisheries Forum, to try and help reverse the decline in stocks.

I am aware Fish Eating Birds, ‘in river’ loss of smolts and Enforcement were all issues raised in the inquiry and therefore anticipate these issues will be addressed in the plan. With

Bae Caerdydd • Cardiff Bay

Caerdydd  • Cardiff

CF99 1NA

Canolfan Cyswllt Cyntaf / First Point of Contact Cent re :

0300 0604400

Gohebiaeth.Lesley . Griffi ths@ll Corresp ondence.Lesley .Gri ff it hs@gov. wales

Rydym yn croesawu derbyn gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg . Byddwn yn ateb gohebiaeth a dderbynnir yn Gymraeg yn Gymraeg ac ni fydd gohebu yn Gymraeg yn arwain at oedi.

We welcome receiving correspondence in Welsh.  Any correspondence received in  Welsh will be answered in  Welsh and corresponding in Welsh will not lead to a delay in responding.

regard to Enforcement I will discuss the meeting which took place in Bala with Ms Pillman and consider any points which were raised.

In the meantime, I understand there has been further exchanges with NRW about the methodology used for assessing stock levels and I can confirm they will be responding on this matter in due course.

I have recently been in contact with your associate Mr Eardley and offered him the opportunity to meet my officials to discuss any further concerns about restoring salmon and sea trout stocks. I would like to extend this invitation to you and ask if you would like to accompany Mr Eardley to meet with my officials to discuss your concerns about both agricultural regulations and salmonid fish. If you would like to take up this offer please contact:

Julian Bray, Head of Domestic Fisheries Policy and Management 03000 625605 I

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