New Port Talbot Fish Pass
More than 40km of the River Afan and its tributaries have been made more accessible to spawning fish after a new Environment Agency Wales fish pass was opened.
The new fish pass at Green Park Weir in Port Talbot will make it easier for salmon and sea trout to reach important spawning grounds to breed in the river; it will also make it easier for eels to migrate out to sea to spawn.
The fish pass was officially opened today, 10 August, by David Rees, Assembly Member for Aberavon, at an event attended by members of the Afan Valley Angling club, representatives from Tata Steel, the Associated British Ports and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.
In the past, fish have had difficulty in passing the weir and entering the river, which is one of the reasons the river is currently failing to meet new European Standards. The new fish pass will boost the fish population, helping it to meet the standards, as well as providing economic and recreational benefits by improving local angling.
Dave Charlesworth, from Environment Agency Wales said:
“Our initial assessment shows that fish are already using the new pass and we are confident that we will see an increased number of fish in the river as a result.
This is good news both for the environment, and for local people who can enjoy the river at its best. It can also help the local economy by providing a draw for anglers to visit the area and enjoy the fantastic river here in the Afan valley.”
David Rees, Assembly Member for Aberavon said:
“I welcome the investment for this new pass which will make it easier for fish such as salmon and sea-trout to travel further up the Afan to spawn.
“The River Afan has had a chequered history but now it is a focal point of a strong eco-system in our valley and this pass adds to that.”
The new £200k fish pass has been delivered through ‘Salmon for Tomorrow’, a £2.2million project delivered by the Agency and supported by funds from Welsh Government and European structural funds.
It is part of a wider partnership to improve water management and the environment at Green Park Weir. It involves the Associated British Ports, Tata Steel, Afan Valley Angling Club, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council and Environment Agency Wales.
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