Almost 80 commercial cockle fishers and shellfish farmers are to receive lifejackets – free of charge – for when they’re working.
They were helped to fund the lifejackets – which cost up to around £380 each – by officers of Swansea Council and Carmarthenshire Council with the guidance and support of the Swansea Bay Fisheries Local Action Group (SBFLAG).
Mark Thomas, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for environment enhancement and infrastructure management, said: “The shellfish industry is important to our region and we want to help it thrive as best we can.
“Making sure the workers are as safe as possible is crucial to their wellbeing and to the future of jobs in the industry.
“I’m delighted that we were able to assist in them accessing this essential new lifesaving gear.
“I thank council officers for going above and beyond to help in this activity.”
Cllr Thomas and fellow cabinet member Cllr David Hopkins – also the council’s joint deputy leader – worked with council regeneration officers and the activity was agreed at the council’s highest levels.
SBFLAG is managed by Swansea Council and operates across Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend and Carmarthenshire’s Burry Port Harbour. It works to ensure successful, sustainable, economically viable local fishing and associated industries.
In this instance, it helped local shellfish workers complete and submit an application to industry body Seafish for a fund that offers 90% of the total cost of a lifejacket – up to £360.
The two councils then agreed to match fund a total of around £3,000 for all Swansea and Carmarthenshire applications, resulting in 100% funding for the lifejackets.