The MMO has given notice that scallop fishing is reopening in the North Sea and the Dogger Bank area
The Marine Management Organisation has given notice that scallop fishing can resume in the North Sea and in the area of the Dogger Bank after being closed for a period of time.
On the 12 July 2020, the MMO announced the closure of the King scallop fishery. This was to enable scientific analysis of the state of the shellfish stock to be undertaken so management decisions can be made in consultation with industry. These decisions were sought to seek to balance sustainability and the economic needs of the shellfish industry.
The closure was recommended to last until 11 October on the advice of CEFAS in order to protect the stock during spawning and allow time for a further survey to be done that will increase understanding of the state of the shellfish stock. The closure was extended again until February 2021 and later it was extended until the 04 April 2021.
In their notice today, the MMO said:
“Scallop fishing in UK waters of the North Sea around Dogger Bank can resume from 5 April except in the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) where a closure will remain in place.
“The opening comes after a series of closures agreed with industry last year that covered the whole of UK seas in the Dogger Bank to enable improved scientific understanding of the scallop stock to be developed.
“The changes will come into force via a fishing vessel licence variation from 5 April 2021.
“The scallop fishing closure in the Dogger Bank SAC will remain in place until the outcome of the MMO consultation on a proposed byelaw to prohibit all bottom towed gear in the area is decided in late summer.
“The four UK Fisheries Administrations are committed to continuing their engagement with industry on the management of fishing in the area.”