Legislation & Background

The Menai Strait mussel fishery operates within an area that has been fished for generations.  Shellfish have been cultivated in parts of the Menai Strait since the 19th century.  During the 1950s the eastern Menai Strait was identified as a prime area for shellfish cultivation, and particularly for mussel farming.

Following trials carried out in the Strait by scientists from the MAFF fisheries laboratory in Conwy in collaboration with the local fishing industry, an area in the eastern Menai Strait was designated for mussel and oyster growing by the Government in 1962 for a period of 60 years, ending on 1st April 2022.

MSFOMA have worked with Welsh Government to ensure that when the old 1962 Fishery Order expired at midnight on the 1st of April 2022 it would be replaced by a new Fishery Order, to help Wales to maintain its leading place in UK aquaculture, and to secure long-term jobs and businesses in the local economy for the next 35 years.

The new Order came into force on Saturday the 2nd of April 2022.  It can be downloaded from the UK Government legislation website here.  As before, the controls under this Fishery Order only apply to shellfish farming.  It does not impose any new restrictions or controls on other day-to-day activities in the area.  For shellfish famers this new Fishery Order is vital for their future.  For everyone else in the area it will be very much “business as usual”.

The map below shows the extent of the new Fishery Order and the location of the “designated several fishery area” that has been established by MSFOMA with the Minister’s consent within the Fishery Order area.  Mussel farming will only take place within this “designated area”.

A notice describing the “designated area” has been published by MSFOMA and can be accessed here.

For the period between 1962 and 2010, the “Menai Strait Oyster and Mussel Fishery Order” was managed by the local Sea Fisheries Committee.  On the 1st April 2010, the Sea Fisheries Committee was re-organised, and responsibility for managing the Menai Strait was passed to the Menai Strait Fishery Order Management Association, MSFOMA.  The legislation which transferred these powers is available here.