The Isle of Man government, through DEFA. has launched a public consultation seeking views on the future of the island's King Scallop fishery

The Isle of Man government, through DEFA. has launched a public consultation seeking views on the future of the island’s King Scallop fishery

A public consultation is seeking views on major changes to the future management of the Island’s multi-million-pound king scallop industry to ensure its long-term sustainability.

The industry is of significant commercial importance for the Island, generating up to several million pounds from landings in Manx territorial waters each year, depending on stock status and market demand.

Initiated by the Isle of Man Scallop Management Board (SMB) and jointly developed with the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) the consultation follows industry calls for a longer-term and more strategic management plan.

If backed the changes would mean a significant departure from the existing management framework to one that takes account of ‘bioeconomics’, ensuring sustainability and conservation of the king scallop stock and economic sustainability for businesses.

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People who work in the industry or have an interest in it are encouraged to share their views on proposals which include:

  • Long Term Objectives
  • Co-management
  • Effort management and regulating fleet capacity
  • Technical measures
  • Industry-led research funding

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘We have listened to the industry and we now want their views to help us make the right decisions.

“The proposals would see a significant change in the management of the fishery, so that opportunities are allocated in a way that allows for profitable levels of catch whilst also incorporating the fundamental biological limits of the resource – to help deliver a truly sustainable King Scallop industry for the future.”

Dr David Beard, IoM SMB industry representative, said: “In response to industry calls we worked with DEFA and Bangor University to develop these proposals, which are grounded in the aim for long-term bio economic security for both the stock and people that depend on it.”

The 12 week consultation can be found on the Government’s consultation hub and will run until 29 October. Paper copies are also available from DEFA offices in St John’s.

People will also be able to ask questions at a series of drop-in sessions at the Peel Hub, on the Isle of Man Food Park, which will be held during the consultation period. Details of the date and times of these session will be promoted in the coming weeks.

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Public consultation launched on Isle of Man King Scallop plans

by editor time to read: 6 min