Lladd cymunedau er mwyn achub bywyd gwyllt? Destroying communities to save wildlife?
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The Welsh coastline.
Depths teeming with wonders.
But there's more to nature than a feast for the eyes.
In many parts of the world...
..there's real concern about the effect of over-fishing...
..on the ocean environment.
If the seabed is destroyed...
..it can take a very long time for something similar to return.
But controversial plans to introduce more conservation...
..and close parts of the Welsh coastline have caused anger.
If this error-strewn scheme comes into existence...
..this is the biggest threat to our community in Lleyn...
..in living memory.
These are my wages.
There wouldn't be any work.
Tonight, Taro Naw is visiting the first place in Britain...
..to establish a Marine Conservation Zone...
..to ask whether a similar scheme in Wales...
..could undermine communities...
..while attempting to protect wildlife.
The tip of Lleyn...
..and a fisherman from the area preparing for a big day.
He'll be battling politicians in Cardiff Bay and opposing plans...
..which he feels could change his life forever.
We're losing a traditional way of living...
..which has been in my family for six generations.
I feel I have a duty to protect that way of life...
..to the end.
This is the bay where he works every day.
Colin Evans fishes the sea around Bardsey Island...
..by using the same methods as his ancestors.
With static pots.
This one is perfectly healthy.
It can go back in and hopefully it'll come back in a year or two.
It's a male.
Conservation is our daily life.
If we over-fish an area or disrespect it in an way...
..it's not there for us tomorrow or for future generations.
But that continuity is under threat...
..if the Welsh Government's consultation on banning...
..fishing around the island is approved.
And this is the reason - the rich wildlife.
It's home to many species and, as a result, there are plans...
..to create a nature reserve...
..or Marine Conservation Zone near Bardsey.
For Colin Evans, who uses the profits from fishing...
..to subsidise his boat business, which carries goods and visitors...
..back and forth to the island, it would be a major blow.
Commercial fishing for crabs and lobsters has existed here...
..since the mid-18th century, if not earlier.
The island has relied upon it and still relies upon it today.
My concern, other than my own livelihood...
..is that the island will die and we'll lose the community.
But others are more concerned about the implications...
..of losing more sea life.
Across the world, there's concern about environmental damage...
..climate change and the effects of over-fishing.
The European parliament wants to introduce more conservation...
..and strengthen regions which have some regulation, like Cardigan Bay.
After research carried out by the Countryside Council for Wales...
..these are the 10 areas under consideration...
..as Marine Conservation Zones.
The objective is to agree on three or four possible areas.
The regulations could be strict.
No fishing or activities which could damage wildlife.
The Welsh habitat needs protecting because...
..even within the protected zones we have...
..over 50% aren't in favourable conservation status.
They're being impacted, not only from fishing, but dredging...
..and the potential of climate change, so we need to...
..build in some resilience and that's what these sites will do.
In the Pencaer area of Pembrokeshire...
..four square kilometres of the sea is under consideration...
..including Abercastle Bay.
Neville George is a crab and lobster fisherman.
He says eight local fisherman with small boats...
..who work for themselves, could be affected.
I fish a mile down the coast and I'm in the thick of it.
These are my wages.
There wouldn't be any work.
It's not just the fishermen.
It's also the people we buy the bait and pots from...
There are a lot of people involved.
The Government wants to reduce the impact on the sea...
..to promote biodiversity, rather than protecting specific species.
The fishermen are worried that they will be pushed to work...
..in nearby areas and intensify the fishing there.
The fishermen argue against change if there's no environmental damage.
There's no scientific evidence at all.
We go on the sea every day and the crabs and lobsters are good.
The mackerel are good. I'd say the stocks are good.
They say otherwise, but they don't have the evidence.
Anthony Harris is a builder who has enjoyed fishing...
..from the coast and on the sea since he was young.
Leisure time is important.
It's what my brother and I did when we were young boys.
We'd cycle to Strumble Head and to Abermawr and Aberbach...
..with lunch boxes from Mam.
We'd spend all day, every day, enjoying ourselves on the rocks.
But under the proposals...
..this would have to stop if Abercastle was chosen.
Fishing as a hobby, from land or a boat, could be banned.
The feeling locally is that far more would be lost.
I couldn't ask for a better life than this.
Being out, doing something we've enjoyed for years...
..especially with the boys...
..catching fish, enjoying the views, the fresh air...
..and everything this area gives us.
Where are the fish today?
It's about socialising, keeping the community together...
..to enjoy what we have here.
It would be very sad to lose that.
It's not just fishing which is under threat.
The consultation lists all kinds of activities...
..like pedalos, walking the quay and riding horses on the beaches...
..if they affect wildlife.
That's how foolish these plans are...
..and how much common sense they lack.
Banning such activities would affect...
..local people and visitors in these tourist areas.
Although the Welsh Government has promised to consider...
..economic and social factors...
..there has been strong opposition in many coastal communities.
If visitors found out that the Lleyn Peninsula is closed...
..they wouldn't come.
We would lose our tourism industry overnight.
If this continues, people might buy boats and go elsewhere.
The cost is a stamp and two minutes to write a letter.
The cost of not doing that is a serious blow to the area.
The Countryside Council and the government...
..have explained that many of the activities...
..protestors were worried about won't be banned...
..such as building sand castles on beaches and swimming in the sea.
But the uncertainty has made it difficult to win the support...
..of communities which could be affected...
..and has failed to calm many people's fears.
However, environmentalists are emphasising the purpose...
..and size of the zones.
These are conservation measures, not fisheries measures.
We'll see benefits, not only from the wildlife point of view...
..but improved fisheries will also improve the Welsh economy.
It is less than 1% of the marine environment.
Many tropical countries have been dealing with the problem for years.
If they work overseas without affecting the communities...
..are we in Wales making an unnecessary fuss?
In the Severn Estuary is an island...
..which could show the way forward for the Welsh coastline.
It's home to all kinds of wildlife.
Twelve miles off the North Devon coast...
..is a well-known nature reserve.
It's the first in Britain to be free of any human interference.
Ten years since the experiment started...
..Lundy Island is a successful Marine Conservation Zone.
One person who has followed developments there for decades...
..is the marine biologist, Professor Tegwyn Harris.
If the seabed is destroyed...
..it can take a very long time for something similar to return.
There are different levels of conservation...
..and activities which don't cause damage are permitted in some areas.
That is where the most protected Marine Zone is.
In the four square kilometres on this side...
..everything except diving and swimming is banned...
..including mooring boats, which is what's being considered in Wales.
The aim is to prevent the seabed being damaged by man...
..and there are other obvious advantages.
Fish are easily frightened...
..and you can have shoals of fish avoiding specific places...
..because they are frightened time and again.
If you remove those factors, then the fish will return...
..and that can affect animals like seals, which eat the fish.
The effects can spread...
..way beyond the original objective.
According to a study on the Marine Zone, within five years...
..there were four times more lobsters of commercial size.
The evidence suggests that has a positive impact on nearby areas...
..where some forms of fishing are allowed.
The result is that underwater life around this island has increased.
Even the animals people are allowed to fish have increased.
It's improved the fisheries for lobsters, for example.
They are protected so well...
..around this island...
..that more of them survive...
..and grow big enough to be eaten.
They move out of the areas where they're born...
..and they get caught.
It's not just fishermen who are affected.
Lundy Island is further from the mainland...
..than the areas being considered in Wales.
But the island has benefited from its special status.
Some ten years down the line, what we're seeing here...
..is that tourism has actually benefited greatly...
..from the zone because a lot of divers now come to Lundy...
..where they may have gone somewhere else.
We're seeing an increase in tourism directly as a result of the zone...
..and the wider Marine Nature Reserve.
Nature is not black and white.
Of the 20 species used in the Lundy study...
..only three saw a change since the restrictions came to force...
..all of which used to be fished.
And while lobster numbers have increased significantly...
..red eyed crab numbers, eaten by the lobsters, have declined.
Scientifically, it's too early to assess...
..the ecological effects of the reserve and celebrate success.
The fishermen report back that they've seen larger lobsters...
..but they tend to be male lobsters.
Lobsters are predatory and cannibalistic...
..and they eat their own stock.
The large males have been eating the smaller females so we wonder...
..how long this explosion of lobsters will continue.
But what do spill out into the adjacent area...
..it's such a small area that the amount of lobsters is going to...
..make an insignificant benefit to the incomes of those fishermen.
Back in Wales and, unlike Lundy Island...
..there are complaints of a lack of consultation.
The general reaction of fishermen in Lleyn was anger...
..as they filled a questionnaire on the possible effects on them.
The authorities say there were plenty of meetings...
..to discuss the proposals...
..and that there will be further consultation before moving forward.
The fishermen wanted to be consulted sooner...
..before the possibility of banning fishing in some areas was chosen.
It wasn't published. We didn't know it was happening.
We didn't get a chance to express our views at that time...
..and that is when the damage was done, to be honest.
I've told them to come out with us and see how it's done.
We don't want to destroy anything.
Did anyone come?
At one meeting in Pembrokeshire...
..we understand the residents of Abercastle were surprised...
..when representatives from the Welsh Government...
..acknowledged they had never visited the area.
We asked the government whether they had visited...
..any of the ten areas being considered to learn about...
..the community and the possible effects...
..the Marine Zones could have.
A spokesperson told us that Welsh Government officials...
..weren't aware of any formal visits...
..to any of the ten areas.
There may be lessons to be learnt abroad.
Tanzania in east Africa has a Marine Conservation Zone...
..to protect one of the richest marine habitats in the world.
One person who helped establish the Marine Zones...
..in Tanzania during the 1990s says they have been a success...
..with the help of one vital element.
We made sure we communicated with local people.
That process took around two years.
Without their support through that communication...
..I don't know if it's possible.
Dr Evans and his team were in daily contact with the local people...
..to prevent damaging methods of fishing, such as using dynamite.
Because they were using big boats, they had to establish...
..a partnership with local people.
You have so many people, including the fishermen, backing the idea.
They have the right to fish in certain places...
..if they do it in a sustainable way...
..and respect the conservation regulations.
They need the place to work for them.
With so many communities backing this idea...
..you have hundreds of police officers.
You only need a few people to see something like this happening.
They won't stop it every time, but 90 times out of 100...
..with information, radios, simple equipment...
..you can call the enforcement officer into the area...
..and, after five years, it stopped.
There are similar complaints in Wales.
During the night, boats come into our waters...
..with more damaging fishing methods...
..like trawling with nets which scrape the seabed.
Some are calling for this to be stopped...
..rather than the protection of areas rich in wildlife.
When the scallops season starts...
..boats from all over the UK will come to Wales, to Cardigan Bay...
..and they will trawl up and down.
They come into the Special Area of Conservation illegally at night...
..around a mile from land, and then they leave.
The Government can't do anything about it.
They say they are monitoring it, sometimes with the RAF or Navy...
..and they monitor it at times, but you say it doesn't happen.
It doesn't happen enough.
According to Welsh Government statistics...
..seven captains of boats were successfully prosecuted in 2010.
Six last year.
The guilty fishermen came from Wales...
..England, Scotland and other European countries.
The majority were guilty of breaking fishing laws...
..six miles or more out at sea.
Cardiff Bay, and members of the Welsh Fishing Association...
..putting forward their proposals for the Marine Conservation Zones.
They suggest working together to police the Marine Zones...
..but call for areas which would allow...
..sustainable methods of traditional fishing.
The Welsh Government promised...
..that the fishermen's economic and social views would be considered...
..along with the 7,000 replies received during the first...
The Striking the Balance document is very valuable for us...
..as part of that engagement and part of that process.
The title, Striking the Balance, is absolutely what we're trying to do.
Following the dispute...
..it is acknowledged that they are better off working together.
That's the view of an academic who is carrying out...
..a three-year government study of Welsh fisheries.
It will provide some suggestions on the best way...
..to adopt sustainable fishing methods.
We could look into more spatial-based management...
..and protect areas to which there is a greater threat...
..and then areas which are quite resilient...
..we can allow some activities to continue.
Evidently, some of these activities have been around the Welsh coats...
..for quite a while and they haven't done any harm...
..so that would be the way forward.
Unless the Assembly provides the resources...
..to employ a team of people to police it...
..how will it work?
The Welsh Government's plans have angered many.
We wanted to speak to the Environment Minister...
..John Griffiths, whose department is responsible for the proposals...
..and will decide on the next step, but he refused.
We also wanted to speak to the agency which advised...
..the government and carried out scientific research...
..the Countryside Council...
..but they refused because the minister wouldn't be interviewed.
The Government's next step is getting closer.
It's committed to establishing Conservation Zones...
..and feels strongly that something must be done.
The big question is what sort of regulations will be introduced?
We mustn't miss this opportunity.
We can't let the Government bury this...
..and make no changes.
We have an opportunity to create a new form of marine conservation...
..but I don't think Conservation Zones are the way forward.
S4C subtitled by Red Bee Media Ltd
Mae cynlluniau i gau rhannau o foroedd Cymru er mwyn creu gwarchodfeydd natur wedi corddi’r dyfroedd gyda protestwyr yn mynu y byddai’n lladd cymunedau arfordirol. Heno bydd T9 yn ymchwilio i gynlluniau cadwraeth dadleuol llywodraeth Cymru – ac yn ymweld a’r lleoliad cyntaf ym Mhrydain i wneud y fath arbrawf i weld os ydi’n bosib arbed bywyd gwyllt heb danseilio cymunedau. Plans to create marine nature reserves by banning fishing and other activities off the Welsh coast have sparked protest – with claims it could destroy coastal communities. Tonight’s T9 raises questions about the Welsh government’s controversial plans – and visits the first ever place in Britain to create such a zone to see if it’s possible to save marine wildlife without undermining communities. Transmitted on 25/09/12 at 9.30pm