It has been announced there will be a closure of the queen scallop fishery in ICES area 6a and 7a from 1 April – 30 June 2023
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) alongside UK Fishing Administrations (UKFAs) and the Isle of Man Department of the Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) are closing ICES area 6a and 7a to the queen scallop (Aequipecten Opercularis) fishery from 1 April – 30 June 2023.
The closure is designed to offer protection for queen scallops during part of their spawning season and support future growth in the population. Further information on the scientific evidence collected on queen scallops is available here: AFBI report and Bangor University report.
The closure will apply to all EU, Isle of Man and UK vessels.
The UKFAs and DEFA are committed to ensuring fisheries are managed to a level where stocks are healthy and fished sustainably; the marine environment is protected; and economic return for fishers is maximised without impacting stock sustainability.
What happens next?
The closure will be enacted by variation within the appropriate fishing vessel licences. These will be completed by the following:
- MMO for UK vessels fishing in ICES area 6a and 7a and EU vessels fishing in 6a and 7a apart from Isle of Man waters.
- Marine Scotland for Scottish vessels in ICES area 6a and 7a.
- The Welsh Government for Welsh vessels in ICES area 6a and 7a.
- Northern Ireland department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs for Northern Irish vessels fishing in ICES area 6a and 7a.
- Isle of Man (IOM) Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture for IOM vessels fishing in IOM and UK waters in ICES area 6a and 7a. A separate licence is required to fish for queen scallops for all nationalities fishing in IOM waters.