Killer armour: A giant rock-armour sea wall similar to that planned for Swansea would enclose the massive lagoon. The lagoon turbines would kill up to 25% of fish stocks every year according to Natural Resources Wales.

The proposed giant rock-armour sea wall of the Penarth Cardiff Tidal lagoon would be similar to that planned for Swansea. The lagoon turbines in Swansea’s Tidal Lagoon  are forecast to  kill up to 25% of fish every year according to Natural Resources Wales .

Members of the Welsh Assembly failed to bat an eyelid when they were told of Natural Resources Wales estimates that the tidal lagoon project for Penarth/Cardiff – and others like it – will destroy up to 25% of fish stocks every year.

It was a debate which cast a harsh spotlight on the extent of background knowledge – or lack of it – by AMs and signally failed to address growing public concern about such schemes in Penarth and in other coastal communities .

Mike Hedges Labour AM for Swansea East speakingi n last night's debate

Mike Hedges Labour AM for Swansea East’s speech contained some astonishing NRW fish mortality statistics – which he appeared to discount.

The NRW’s alarming statistics for decimated fish were buried in a rambling pro-Lagoon speech by  Mike Hedges (Labour AM for Swansea East) who – like most the other AMs speaking in last night’s debate –  was rapturously in favour of the Tidal Lagoon power generation.

Mr Hedges painstakingly explained to his less technically-minded colleagues that the banks of underwater turbines built into lagoon walls would be “bi-directional” and “we know we’ll get it four times a day, when the tide comes in, once when the tide goes out,  once when the tide comes in again and once when the tide goes out again”.  It washe proclaimed -“not cutting edge”.

Nuclear plants he said would need “decommissioning and removing  – but all a tidal lagoon does is  leave you with a sea-defence – so even if you don’t like it, and it comes to an end, it gives you a sea defence – and with global warning we expect the sea levels to rise . It’s a win-win situation” he said – raising the prospect of a walled-off Penarth having to put up with a derelict Tidal Lagoon on its doorstep for centuries to come.

However Mr Hedges then appeared to concede it might not be exactly a “win-win situation”  for the local fish population . An unresolved question was  “How will we ensure the safe passage of fish either through the turbines or around them and gain a marine license from Natural Resources Wales?”.

Mr Hedges said that ” In December 2016, Natural Resources Wales revealed, on its best evidence, the proposed tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay could have a major added effect on migratory fish due to injury as they pass through the turbines. After a lengthy consultation, NRW estimated that up to 21 per cent of salmon and 25 per cent of sea trout, which are fish of a national importance, could be killed every year as they migrate to and from local rivers, mainly the Tawe, the Neath and the Afan.”

Garbling his delivery, Mr Hedges went on to reassure AMs by saying that the NRW’s estimates were “far higher” than  “the numbers provided by Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay, which comes up with number roughly a tenth of that.” 

South Wales Central Conservative AM Dafydd Melding was so pleased with the Hendry Report on Tidal Lagoons he thought that he - or his mother - might have written it

South Wales Central Conservative AM Dafydd Melding was so pleased with the Hendry Report on Tidal Lagoons he thought the document might have been written by his mother

Earlier Dafydd Melding (a Conservative AM for South Central which includes Penarth) spoke even more enthusiastically for the Tidal Lagoons schemes for Swansea Bay and for Penarth/Cardiff – and made no mention of the obliteration of sea views from the Penarth Pier and Esplanade  by the huge lagoon walls –  and none either of the decimation of local fish stocks.

Melding said the Welsh Conservative Party “fully supported” the “£1.3 billion potential project[the Swansea Bay scheme – the forerunner of the Penarth/Cardiff Lagoon].

Of the Hendry Review itself  [ the Government-commissioned Independent Review by Hendry into the viability of Tidal Lagoon schemes ] Melding appeared to find no fault with it. He said “Occasionally in life, you await a review, you know it’s important, and then it sort of reads as if you or your mother wrote it—it just has everything in it that you wish to hear—and that was pretty much how it turned out”

The Penarth/Cardiff/ Newport Tidal Lagoon would feature massive walls obscuring the view from Penarth Pier and the Esplanade

The Penarth/Cardiff/ Newport Tidal Lagoon would feature massive walls obscuring the view from Penarth Pier and the Esplanade

He said “If other projects follow in the most likely sites[the first to follow Swansea would be Penarth/Cardiff] , we could see a £20 billion level of investment from the private sector, over 33,000 jobs, potentially, in construction and manufacturing for Wales, and an annual benefit in our GVA, if these projects go ahead, of £1.4 billion. It is remarkable. Wales was once the Kuwait of coal; we could now be the world leader in tidal energy. Let’s grasp the challenge.”


About NewsNet

Penarth Daily News email address dmj@newsnet.uk . Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
This entry was posted in Penarth Daily News. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Chris David says:

    Surely features/ measures can be designed in to stop all fish slaughter? If not the project is indefensible and should not go ahead.

  2. lm says:

    Wild life always suffer for so called progress
    I don’t believe this should go ahead

  3. So Natural Resources Wales (NRW) quote one figure and Tidal Lagoon Swansea Bay quote a much lower figure. Obviously the two organisations are going to have to justify their figures but for now we have to accept the NRW figure which is what the government have to rely on.

    What these AM people don’t seem to understand is that if you destroy 25% of you fish stock each year it is accumulative so the following applies:-
    Year 0 100%
    Year 1 75%
    Year 2 56%
    Year 3 42%
    Year 4 32%
    Year 5 24%
    Year 6 18%
    Year 7 13%
    Year 8 10%
    and so on

    This means that after only 8 years our fish stocks will be decimated. What happens to all those reliant on the leisure fishing industry?

    (After 16 years you end up with 1% of your stock and 25 years 0.75%)

    • Amanda says:

      Well said, intelligence and common sense. Another example of non joined-up thinking . You should be working for them. They need re-educating. I despair sometimes of these people in management / policy making positions. What use are their so called degrees and qualifications if they can’t even join the dots.

      • cpissarro says:

        I don’t think such thinking qualifies as “intelligence” and “common sense”.

        The simple truth is that the lagoon might provide an opportunity for jobs, investment, economic advancement and a greener economy. You must balance the potential opportunities against the potential costs. The idea of hamstringing the Welsh economy, and further contributing to climate change, for the sake of local salmon/trout population strikes me as counter-productive.

        I question where people expect good jobs to come from…

      • Jonny says:

        I can’t stand it when people prostitute Wales for “jobs”. Have some dignity and respect for wildlife. Good jobs, my rear end. Big talk of jobs, investment, economic advancement and a “greener economy”. How is killing all those fish “green” you daft ha’porth? Get a grip cpissarro and don’t make a fool of yourself.

    • cpissarro says:


      The WWF claim as much as 49% of marine population has declined over the last half century due, in part, to climate change. I don’t think it’s “daft” to suggest Wales should explore tidal lagoons is an innovative way to transition away from fossil fuels. The idea that small local fish stock should take precedent above solving a global environmental threat is just narrow-minded nimbyism.

      Too many are of the type that expect good jobs to materialise out of nowhere, all the while happy for young people to work low paid service jobs provided they get their lattes and clothing cheaply.

      As for people “prostituting” Wales, you advance no points of your own, so I’d keep your silly exaggerations to yourself.

      • Chris David says:

        Hardly a small fish stock. Do some research. We need friendly energy sources- note friendly- on all fronts. On no account should we sacrifice Salmon, Sewin, or anything else inc the Allis shad.

      • Harry says:

        With an attitude like this cpissarro, I suspect you have young adult children looking for work, unless you are a ‘young adult’ yourself. (Your view is certainly one-sided, short-sighted, selfish and immature.) If you dismiss ‘small local fish stock’, don’t expect young people to be lauded as important in the job market…

  4. Chris David says:

    Very well thought and laid out. This surely if supportable makes the project as it stands a non starter. Thank you. It would be nice if “they” could design absolute fish (and other) wildlife protection measures as we need to move to sustainable non pollutant energy. Massive solar farm on the Sahara ?

    • cpissarro says:

      Perhaps you can provide an example of an energy source that is both economically practical and “friendly on all fronts”? It seems to me that no power source is totally without fault.

      My point was a simple one, that you’ve got to weigh the opportunities and the costs. Saying that no programme should go ahead unless there’s no environmental costs -despite the net benefit to the environment- just strikes me as backwards and poorly reasoned.

      • Chris David says:

        From what I read and discuss with those that know far better than me solar may be a huge part of the way forward. The problems are location- “transportation” of energy and probable terrorist threat’s – threats of earthquakes etc. around this that make it vulnerable- for now. There appears to be no downside environmentally to solar except disruption in building the supply lines.. Yes of course you have to weight the opportunities and costs- and the possible decimation of fish stocks in these tidal proposals et al appear unacceptable and possibly avoidable- at a cost so there lies the corporate problem. Backwards and poorly reasoned- oh yes in part- but maybe be fixable!

  5. Kevin Mahoney says:

    This doesn’t sound great does it?

  6. snoggerdog says:

    let them eat cake,but not fishcake.

  7. Ivor Bagman says:

    I think fish have more
    sense than you think.

  8. Lots of dead and rotting fish washed up on to the beach on a regular basis what could be more appealing !!?? another crack pot idea from the crack pots themselves.

  9. Chris David says:

    Very well said My Worsley although a little light on the wider issues- economic and environmental (see M coffee). However perhaps you could explain to cpissarro who hasn’t grasped- or considered……… maybe,,,,,,,,,, the bigger picture.

  10. Tim Hughes says:

    The lagoon locations have been specifically chosen to avoid the main rivers thus to minimise the effect on the shipping and the fish. I struggle to believe the figure of 25%, morality rates for fish passing through even small faster turbines are quite low and for these very large very slow turning turbines they should be even lower. Surely this is one of the reasons for having the Swansea lagoon as a trial.

  11. Frank Evans says:

    25% of statistics are made up the other 80% are just plain wrong.
    If this is the first large scale tidal lagoon of its kind where have they got the data from?

  12. Chris David regarding the crackpots behind this idea , you cannot educate or enlighten the stupid and in this case breeze blocks. These ideas are pulled out of some hat , they solve one issue by creating others , its what’s called not thought through or ignoring the drawbacks. I can imagine it come to Penarth and smell the putrid and rotting fish washed up on our beach in the Summer months. Mother sat on the beach to toddler ,”what are you playing with Justin darling ?”only to discover its a rotting fish and he’s been putting his fingers in his mouth too … yuck! . But I cant wait for the Headland walkway to be built that ‘other’ great idea, the one that the Viewing Platform will crash down on sometime in the future if not sooner. This winter has been mild so no snow and ice getting into the cracks or adding extra weight or the ground being frozen and unfrozen in turn.

  13. Chris David says:

    Mr Worsley your first sentence is largely true. Now you may have spoilt it- where’s your evidence? Quote your research sources Mr Worlsey. Emotive?

  14. Lets see Chris David cracks in the viewing platform EVIDENCE in front of your eyes , the folly of the walkway to the ‘marina’ , we have a ways of getting to the marina already EVIDENCE, this jolly little walkway is not needed , another folly for the daydreamers to get hooked on. And as the cliff face is likely to give way under the weight placed on top of it , it is an ‘accident waiting to happen ‘. As for the fish it is true that a lot of the dead or injured fish would be picked off by the Seagulls especially in the Summer months , so if not removing the odd rotting fish from the beach we can expect screeching seagulls hovering over and around people on the beach or on the seafront and all the lovely screeches as they do so . Oh and the seagulls don’t mind swooping to grab food out of the hands of people catching them unaware. Of course none of this may happen oh and I’m the King of Siam.

    • Chris David says:

      “but Mongkut the King of Siam acquired 32 wives, and by the time he died, aged 64, he had 82 children”. Source Wikipedia (supported) Ohh you naughty boy AW. This is researched unlike your conjecture above. You’re not a civil engineer are you? Or a zoologist? Certainly not an ornithologist or you would know there is no such species as a seagull. Next we’ll have “gull scandal- Lesser Black Back’s nick Mr Worsley’s chips as he walks down Westgate st on International day. A Worsley calls for a ban on all gulls in Cardiff” during chip shop opening hours. 🙂 Still its fun eh Mr Worsley.

Comments are closed.