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Steve Hartley is the founder of Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, New Quay. He now runs Dolphin Survey Boat Trips, however previously fished the waters of Cardigan Bay.

A member of our Living Seas Team sat down with Steve, to discuss his memories of life in the Bay. Here, he discusses changes in the Skate population over time.

Recollection as follows:

"I think lots of fish has changed. The skate, we used to have to move away from them! You’d take an angling trip out, and you’d move because you’d have twelve anglers, and over half would be bent (i.e. the rods would be bent) into skate at the same time. And you’d move just to get away from them.

And then what happened was, I think it was up in Barmouth way, a fisherman started tangle-netting for them. But, what they didn’t realise, was that they were coming in there to spawn…and they just wiped them out in a couple of years. Even sadder was that they weren’t even using the fish! They were selling it in bulk, so they weren’t winging and skinning them as fine fish to eat. They were just selling the whole fish, so it was sold very cheaply.

I talked to an angling boat, I think it was last year or the year before, and he says he’s lucky if he sees ten in a year now. Whereas I could see ten at a time – you know. Yeah, so that’s a huge difference."

To learn more about Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre, please visit:

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