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Proposed whelk permit fee, conditions, annual and monthly catch limits 2024-2025. The Welsh Fishing Permit (Wales) Order 2021

The Welsh Government are seeking views on proposals for the Wales whelk fishery through a 2-week consultation from 13 November to 27 November 2023. This has been discussed with the Wales Whelk Advisory Group. This is regarding the 2024-2025 whelk permit period commencing on 1 March 2024. This includes:

  • the permit fee, to increase with inflationary costs to £304
  • the Annual Catch Limit (ACL) to remain the same as 2023-24 at 4,768 tonnes
  • no change to the initial Monthly Catch Limit (MCL) of 50 tonnes

Details of how to respond to the consultation are at the end of this letter and we would welcome email responses to be sent to

Whelk permit fee

The Welsh Government set out its intention to charge a fee for whelk permits. This reflects the costs of administering and managing the fishery, including stock assessment surveys, but excluding enforcement.

Recovering costs incurred by the Welsh Government in managing the whelk fishery is in line with the principles of Managing Welsh Public Money 2016. Doing so will ensure we improve upon the data which helps the fishery.

Methodology to determine whelk permit fee

From the 2023-2024 permit period the Welsh Government will ensure the costs are accurately calculated and proportionate. Our aim will be to work toward full cost recovery within 5 years, whilst also looking to identify efficiencies and minimise costs to fishers.

An inflationary rise would result in permit fee of £304, this would take cost recovery to 20% of survey cost and is equivalent to 24% of the average price of a tonne of whelk.

Fee for 2024-2025 permit period

The proposal is to have the cost of the permit fee at £304. Permit conditions will be published on Whelk Fishery guidance 2024-2025 on GOV.WALES.

Annual Catch Limit (ACL)

The ACL is the combined total amount of whelk which can be taken by all permitted vessels during a permit period. The purpose of the ACL is to conserve the whelk stock and ensure the fishery is sustainable.

The Welsh Government commissioned Bangor University to develop a methodology for calculating the ACL. In 2023/2024 permit period, the baseline ACL of 5,298 tonnes was reduced by 10% to 4,768 tonnes, following a mixed set of size-based indicator results.

ACL for 2024-2025 permit period

To inform the ACL and MCL for 2024/2025, Bangor University completed a whelk stock assessment survey in September 2023. Based on the results of the survey, there will be no change to the ACL of 4,768 tonnes.

Flexible Monthly Catch Limit (MCL)

The MCL is the maximum amount of whelk each permitted vessel can take with pots from the Welsh zone each month. All permitted vessels will have the same amount. Once the ACL of the permitted fleet is set, it is important this is not exceeded.

Our aim is to ensure the benefit of the fishery is spread across the permit period in line with the historical fishing patterns. At present the MCL on 1 March is an initial 50 tonnes unless there is evidence to suggest a different limit. In the following months, monthly catch returns from permit holders will be used to assess the rate of progress towards the ACL. The proposal for the MCL for 2024-2025 is to remain the same.

How to respond

If you wish to comment on these proposals, please email Welsh Government at

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The Welsh Government will be data controller for any personal data you provide as part of your response to the consultation. Welsh Ministers have statutory powers they will rely on to process this personal data which will enable them to make informed decisions about how they exercise their public functions. Any response you send us will be seen in full by Welsh Government staff dealing with the issues which this consultation is about or planning future consultations. Where the Welsh Government undertakes further analysis of consultation responses then this work may be commissioned to be carried out by an accredited third party (e.g. a research organisation or a consultancy company). Any such work will only be undertaken under contract. Welsh Government’s standard terms and conditions for such contracts set out strict requirements for the processing and safekeeping of personal data.

In order to show that the consultation was carried out properly, the Welsh Government intends to publish a summary of the responses to this document. We may also publish responses in full. Normally, the name and address (or part of the address) of the person or organisation who sent the response are published with the response. If you do not want your name or address published, please tell us this in writing when you send your response. We will then redact them before publishing.

You should also be aware of our responsibilities under Freedom of Information legislation.

If your details are published as part of the consultation response then these published reports will be retained indefinitely. Any of your data held otherwise by Welsh Government will be kept for no more than 3 years.

Your rights

Under the data protection legislation, you have the right:

  • to be informed of the personal data held about you and to access it
  • to require us to rectify inaccuracies in that data
  • to (in certain circumstances) object to or restrict processing
  • for (in certain circumstances) your data to be ‘erased’
  • to (in certain circumstances) data portability
  • to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who is our independent regulator for data protection.

For further details about the information the Welsh Government holds and its use, or if you want to exercise your rights under the GDPR, please see contact details below:

Data Protection Officer

Welsh Government
Cathays Park
CF10 3NQ

Rydym yn croesawu gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome correspondence in Welsh.

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 01625 545 745 or 0303 123 1113