With poor weather marring the start of the Manx king scallop season, fewer than a dozen boats got out on the opening day on 1 November.

Quiet start for Manx scallop fishery

Bonnie Lass III…

A couple of boats took their first tows off Maughold, and another couple off Peel, while a few worked off the Irish side of the island, but it was a ‘slow quiet start’ to the season, Fishing News was told.

Manx FPO chief executive Dr David Beard told Manx Radio that a maximum of 55 boats should be fishing this year, with around half of those being Manx vessels – down from around 90 boats six years ago – which he said would enable better management, and a more profitable fishery.

This year’s TAC, rolled over from last year, is 2,049t. Daily catch limits remain at 700kg.

… and Our Sarah Jane working off Maughold Head on the opening day of the Manx king scallop season.

New regulations, brought in following a consultation earlier this year, limit licences to boats with a track record in the Isle of Man king scallop fishery over the last four years – which the Scottish government said would have a ‘disproportionate impact’ on visiting Scottish vessels.

In response, Isle of Man Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture minister Dr Michelle Haywood said: “If you have not needed to fish here in the past four years and you are still running a viable fishing boat then you do not need access to these waters.

“There is very good science that underpins the changes, and it gives those in the industry a reasonable chance of earning a living without decimating stock.”

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


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