Following a meeting of the Isle of Man Queen Scallop Management Board earlier in the week, a package of measures has been agreed to allow a limited fishery in the Isle of Man territorial sea this year.
Following surveys carried out by Bangor University, scientific advisors to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, and by the Manx Fish Producers’ Organisation, it has been recognised that the volume of queen scallops has fallen and urgent measures are required to aid their recovery. These measures take into account the need for the Manx fleet to generate an income from this fishery while protecting some key areas for Queen Scallop.
With effect from Monday (July 7), the following measures for fishing for queen scallops within the territorial sea will come into effect:
Fishing can take place on three days per week between Monday and Thursday only and from 6am to 4pm
All catches must be landed to a port in the Isle of Man, although they can be subsequently processed elsewhere
All vessels must complete and submit catch return forms on a daily basis and carry a data logger on board, to provide additional data on their fishing activity
A number of areas closed to fishing have been specified at the Targets, east of Douglas, off the Point of Ayre and south of the Chickens
A total of 500 tonnes of queen scallops can be caught in July, with no more than 1400kg per day, per boat
Detailed information for fishermen will be provided at www.gov.im/fishing/conditions
The Isle of Man Queen Scallop Management Board will meet again later this month to review fishing activity and agree measures for August onwards.
Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘I am very aware of the difficulties faced by the fishing industry as we try to balance the recovery of this fishery for the future against the importance of enabling our fishermen to earn a living.
‘In addition to the measures above, my department is working on a tie-up and diversification scheme to further assist our fishermen during this difficult year. I look forward to working with the industry to find the best ways forward through this situation.’