Letter to the Editor
Sadly, I have to write once again to respond to attacks being made by the Gower Tories in their election literature.
They say I have done nothing to try to support Wales' cockle industry and get to the bottom of the high cockle mortality in Penclawdd and the surrounding areas. This is not the case.
I can prove that I have been making representations on behalf of the cockle industry in South West Wales as far back as May 2012.
The cockle stocks in the Burry Inlet have actually been systematically surveyed since at least 2003. Researchers, supported by the Welsh Government, have ruled out as single causes of mortality a raft of potential factors - including stock density, food limitation, chemical pollutants, sediment movement and temperature variations.
The latest expert view suggests that remaining causes might include naturally occurring parasites and pathogens, or natural 'boom and bust' population dynamics, but there is no conclusive evidence.
If elected to represent Gower I will continue to support efforts to seek scientific answers, and will continue to work on behalf of the cockle industry.
Welsh Labour Assembly candidate for Gower
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