Ceri Davies, Executive Director of Evidence, Policy and Permitting for NRW, said:
“NRW welcomes the Minister’s decision and the opportunity to move forwards with our shared objectives for sustainable fisheries for the future.
“The Minister’s decision follows a full public consultation and independent scrutiny of all evidence at a Local Inquiry managed by the Planning Inspectorate.
“I’d like to thank the Planning Inspectorate and the Minister for the comprehensive review of NRW’s case and recognition that bold action is urgently required to protect salmon and sea trout in Wales.
“While it was imperative to take urgent action to tackle the continuing decline in fish stocks, it was also important to have robust scrutiny of our evidence, the case for action and proposals.
“Moving forward we will work closely with all those for whom our fish stocks and fisheries are so important. This will include the Wales Fisheries Forum and all our Local Fisheries Groups who between them represent most of fisheries interests in Wales.
“Many partners have important roles to play when stocks are at such low levels and any additions to the wild spawning stocks in our rivers are particularly valuable when stocks are at such low levels.
“Unfortunately, there is no single ‘magic’ solution to protect and re-build vulnerable stocks and we are working on a number of initiatives alongside the new byelaws to make our rivers healthier and safer for salmon and sea trout.
“We are tackling the issue of pollution by working with the farming industry and have additional dedicated staff providing information and guidance to farmers on best practice for the safe storage and disposal of agricultural waste.
“We have unfortunately seen further pollution instances over recent weeks and when pollution incidents do occur, and illegal activity has taken place we will have no hesitation in taking robust action to punish the offenders.
“We have an ongoing river restoration programme to improve habitats and remove barriers ensuring fish have safe passage to spawning grounds and we are working with Welsh Government on a revised policy approach regarding fish eating birds.
“We will now work to implement the decision across Wales and bring forward action for the cross-border rivers Wye and Dee and the Severn within Wales following statutory consultations.”