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King's Lynn cockle fisherman sceptical over additional survey



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The recent response from the Eastern Inshore Fishing Conservation Authority (EIFCA), that an additional survey of cockles in The Wash will take place in order to provide a potential cockle season, has been met with scepticism.

Fisherman Leigh Lake attended the meeting on Monday with EIFCA following their protests at Lynn Town Hall last week.

Mr Lake who works for John Lake Shellfish, attended on behalf of the company owned by his grandfather, his father Neil is now the managing director and Sian and himself work for the family company.

Members of the fishing industry from all over Norfolk and Boston held a protest at the Lynn Town Hall today following restrictions made by EIFCA (57204803)
Members of the fishing industry from all over Norfolk and Boston held a protest at the Lynn Town Hall today following restrictions made by EIFCA (57204803)

He said: "Since we had this protest they (EIFCA) appear to be trying to jump through hoops to give us a cockle season.

"They look like they are jumping through hoops but I fear they may be trying to appease us and the committee.

"There is a good chance we are being used. We''ll see.

Neil Lake of John Lake Shellfish in Lynn is pictured with fisherman Kem Badgley and other protestors (57204795)
Neil Lake of John Lake Shellfish in Lynn is pictured with fisherman Kem Badgley and other protestors (57204795)

"We pay a licence fee of approximately £1,300 which pays for the survey.

"They're now telling the fishermen to look for spots they may have missed and they have sent the fishermen out.

"Some boats went out yesterday, we've sent out our boats today and are liaising with other fishermen.

"This year all the fishermen are working together, I hope we all are, and talking to each other.

"Hopefully we can find something, EIFCA are under a bit of pressure to give us a cockle season and I believe we can get something.

"But it could be a token gesture, to please the committee, I'm sceptical.

"Since the news we were not getting a cockle season plus a limit on shrimps and whelks so we can't go elsewhere, I've lost five skippers and crew.

"Even if there was a cockle season now I have no skippers, they are scared for their families and will try to get a full time job ashore. The damage is done."



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