A few of the 53 scallopers licensed to fish in the Isle of Man scallop fishery braved strengthening winds on the opening day of the season last Wednesday, 1 November, though most had been blown back into harbour by lunchtime, before they had taken their daily catch limit of 800kg.

Pre-season surveys of the scallop beds around the island had been ‘largely positive’, with a 20% increase on the previous year’s catch limits in place, giving a TAC of 2,179t.

Two closed areas and two restricted areas have also been introduced in addition to the island’s existing network of Marine Nature Reserves, many of which, in marked contrast to the ‘top-down’ approach favoured elsewhere in the British Isles, were designated after input from the fishing industry, and with an eye to the positive impact the reserves could have on providing stronger spat settlement onto Manx scallop grounds.

Dr Michelle Haywood, the DEFA political member for the environment within the Manx government, said: “The opening of the king scallop fishery is an important date in the fishing calendar. In recent years, the department has taken a number of steps to ensure its future is bright, well-managed, sustainable and viable.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

Sign up to Fishing News’ FREE e-newsletter here

(Main Photo: Darren Purves)


Subscribe to Fishing News magazine today; never miss an issue and save 55%!