William, Kate, and those Welsh Fish

Posted in: News and Updates

Well, eventually I managed to find an environmental angle to the wedding.  It seems that the use of Welsh gold for the wedding rings might (just might!) pose a threat to trout and salmon spawning.  As TIME notes:

Conservationists and environmental activists fear the April 29 nuptial will spark renewed interest in Welsh gold causing demand to spike—and sending gold prospectors into a frenzy.  And that has consequences for the environment.  Gold panners use shovels and hand-operated suction pumps to remove gravel and expose the bed rock of a river were the heavy metals are found.  That disturbs gravel where salmon and trout have laid their eggs.

It seems that the issue emerged when a panhandler known locally as Irish Brian began digging holes that some officials said were deep enough to drop a car into.   The Forestry Commission put up signs warning would-be prospectors they might well face unlimited fines and jail terms.  It's not at all clear, however, that panning for gold is against the law.  I particularly liked the comment from Vince Thurkettle, a full-time panner and former president of the World Gold Panning Association, who is reported as saying:

You get people poaching for fish but you don't ban all fishermen.


Posted in: News and Updates


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