THE island’s queenie fishery season is to close today (Tuesday).
Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture Phil Gawne said: ‘I have been contacted by individual fishermen, fishermen’s representatives and more formally by the chairman of the Isle of Man Queenie Management Board, all requesting a closure of the queenie fishery with immediate effect.
‘Catch rates in the fishery this summer have been good, but there is a general consensus that the fishing grounds cannot withstand unlimited fishing effort. Landings from within the territorial sea since the season opened on June 1 are thought to have exceeded the upper catch limit recommended by scientists at Bangor University for the 2012 season.
‘Fishermen are businessmen, who need to ensure the long-term profitability of their businesses.
‘I am sure that for many fishermen, requesting a closure of the fishery, in order to safeguard future years’ catches, is a major short term sacrifice. At a time when portions of the media like to portray some fishermen as short-sighted pillagers of the marine environment, I applaud our fishermen for taking such a responsible approach.’