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 dredging prohibition

MMO announces a prohibition on all vessels over 10m scallop dredging in UK waters Area 7d from 01 August – 30 September 2022

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has announced a prohibition to all vessels using scallop dredges over 10 metres in length from 01 August to 30 September 2022 in UK waters of ICES area 7d (Eastern English Channel).

The same closure will apply for all UK vessels, irrespective of size, in EU waters of ICES area 7d.

The announcement comes after a consultation which was launched on 09 May2022. The MMO acting on behalf of all four UK Fisheries Administrations (UKFAs), sought views on a proposal to close UK waters in ICES area 7d to king scallop (Pectens maximus) fishing between 01 August and 30 September 2022 to all vessels, regardless of length, partially aligning with similar king scallop fishing closures in EU waters.

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The proposed closure was designed to offer protection to scallops during their spawning season and to support future growth in the population.

Following the consultation, MMO reviewed all information received and produced a decision document outlining a summary of responses and reasoning of the decision made on the proposed closure.

After reviewing the results of the call for evidence which closed on 06 June last, the MMO said, “Having considered the call for evidence responses and scientific advice on the stock biomass, UKFAs agreed to introduce a closure of the area 7d, in UK waters, for the scallop fishery from 1 August to 30 September 2022. The closure will apply to all UK and EU vessels in UK waters over 10 m in length, and to UK vessels of all lengths in EU waters.”

In previous years UKFAs have closed area 7d to scallop dredging during peak spawning times to UK vessels of 15 metres and over in overall length. Due to exceptional circumstances, there was no closure in 2020 but the measure was reintroduced in 2021 with a 2-month closure applied to all vessels (UK and EU) over 10 metres in overall length.

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MMO announces prohibition on Scallop Dredging for UK waters Area 7d

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