This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Isle of Man scallop fishery to re-open
The Isle of Man scallop fishery - which was shut throughout November after its closed season was extended on conservation grounds - re-opens tomorrow, Wednesday December 1.
Isle of Man authorities feared their scallop stocks were vulnerable to the significant increase in effort foreseen as a result of the displacement of Irish and Scottish vessels from their traditional grounds as a result of the Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) controls.
The Isle of Man authorities have agreed with UK Fisheries Departments that the fishery will re-open on 1 December, subject to appropriate effort limitations to keep the total number of vessels using the fishery similar to that in previous years. To achieve this aim, the fishery will only open to vessels which already have an Isle of Man licence with entitlement to dredge for scallops - some 80 Scottish vessels.
These licences run until the end of the year, when the situation will be reviewed to ensure the longer-term future of the stock.
1. The Isle of Man scallop fishery is subject to a closed season over the summer months for conservation purposes.
2. Under normal circumstances, this fishery would have opened on 1 November this year. Concerns about the possible impact of displaced fishing effort as a result of the ASP closures in Scottish waters, the Isle of Man authorities asked the UK to approve an indefinite closure of the Isle of Man scallop fishery.
3. UK Fisheries Departments agreed to an extension to the closure throughout November, to allow time to consider scientific evidence that their scallop fishery was particularly vulnerable to displacement fishing. After consulting this evidence, UK Fisheries Departments and the Isle of Man authorities have agreed to re-open the fishery on 1 December, with appropriate effort controls in place, to prevent excessive extra fishing. The most pragmatic means of achieving this effort control is to restrict the number of licences granted for boats with an entitlement to dredge for scallops to those already issued throughout the year.
4. No new licences will be issued this year, and the situation will be reviewed before new licences are issued in January 2000.
News Release: SE1509/1999
30 Nov 1999