Brexit News: Huge £60m shellfish discovery in Thames
Britain’s liberation from the European Union’s complex web of rules and regulations has left the nation well-placed to take advantage of massive beds of valuable clams discovered in the Thames Estuary.
Paul Gilson, President of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO), believes the treasure trove of shellfish could be worth up to £60million to the British economy.
The large beds of Manila and razor clams are certain to be prized around the world - once they can be harvested.
Retained EU law containing “minimum landing sizes” (MLS), designed to protect the native clam species which reach maturity at larger sizes, means that an opportunity to take advantage of the large numbers of shellfish in the Estuary is currently being uncapitalised.
Speaking earlier this week, Mr Gilson, who put the value of the clam beds at between £30million and £60million, and possibly even more, said: “These kinds of clams are prized around the world. I’ve been quoted prices from £6 to £16 per kilo, so we are talking a very, very serious amount of money. I cannot emphasise how exciting this is, it’s really positive.
“What I'm trying to do is get a proper survey started on both types of clam. We know that one clam bed is approximately four miles long and half a mile wide.
"That is a huge volume of clams, and we know that they're breeding."
He added: “We need some good science, working with the agencies, the MMO (the Marine Management Organisation) and Defra to work out how we can do this best.
“We need to have a managed approach, we don't want a free for all, we don't want companies coming in and taking six, seven or eight tonnes at a time, and killing the golden goose.”