The MMO acting on behalf of all four UKFAs, is calling for evidence on a proposal to close the ICES area 7d king scallop fishery between 01 Aug and 30 Sept 2022 to vessels of all lengths
A call for evidence on a proposal for a king scallop fishery closure in ICES area 7d from 1 August to 30 September 2022
The UK Fisheries Administrations (UKFAs) are committed to ensuring fisheries are managed to a level where stocks are healthy and fished sustainably, environmental damage is minimised, and economic return is maximised whilst ensuring sustainable harvesting.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO), acting on behalf of all four UKFAs, is seeking views on a proposal to close the ICES area 7d king scallop (Pectens maximus) fishery between 01 August and 30 September 2022 to vessels of all lengths.
The most recent Cefas stock assessment published in 2022 indicates that most stock units in the English Channel, including in area 7d, are estimated to have been exploited above the rate associated with maximum sustainable yield (MSY) at some point over the last 5 years.
The assessments for 2020 have a provisional harvest rate estimate just below the MSY rate (21.4 vs 21.5). However, this may be subject to change once full international landings data become available and therefore the rate is quite uncertain currently. This strengthens the need for appropriate management to ensure scallop stocks are protected and the fishery is managed sustainably.
The spawning period for king scallops within ICES area 7d is between May and October, with peak spawning typically in summer. Although the exact pattern of spawning in any one year will vary depending on environmental conditions, scientific evidence indicates that protection for stocks against fishing activity during the summer months is likely to deliver the most benefit.
A proposal to close ICES area 7d to scallop dredging for two months has also been received from the Scallop Industry Consultation Group (SICG).
Following scientific advice, UKFAs wish to explore the option of a closure to EU and UK vessels of all lengths. This consultation runs from 9 May to 6 June 2022.