Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the announcement of a two and a half million pound project which will seek to establish the cause of the cockle deaths in the Burry Inlet.
Rebecca Evans, who has been making representations on behalf of the cockle industry in South West Wales since as far back as May 2012, explained:
"Cockle mortality in the area has been a long-standing issue. 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 evidence suggests that remaining causes might include naturally occurring parasites and pathogens, or natural 'boom and bust' population dynamics, but there is no conclusive evidence. I hope this new research will shed some light on this serious issue, because I know how important the industry is to our communities."
The £2.6m research project will allow Natural Resources Wales to work with Bangor University and other UK research experts as part of an investigation into the unexplained cockle deaths which will take in other European countries including Ireland, Portugal, France and Spain, where cockle deaths have been harming their industries.