The MMO has opened a consultation on extending the Dogger Bank king scallop fishery until 01 October.
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO), acting on behalf of all four UK Fisheries Administrations (UKFAs) are seeking views on a proposal to extend the current closure of the Dogger Bank area king scallop fishery until 01 October 2020.
This closure covers ICES rectangles 39F1, 39F2, 39F3, 38F1, 38F2, 38F3, 37F1 and 37F2 and includes a Special Area of Conservation, SAC.
On 00.01h 12 July 2020, all four UKFAs implemented a variation to fishing vessel licences to reflect the temporary closure of the Dogger Bank king scallop fishery.
This closure was initially put in place for four weeks and was extended on 07 August until 23.59h 29 August 2020 following preliminary advice from Cefas around the spawning condition of the stocks and to allow sufficient time for a detailed analysis of the research to be provided and considered by fishery managers and industry.
Between 02 and 05 August Cefas conducted sampling activity using the research vessel RV Endeavour to determine the spawning condition of scallops found on Dogger Bank. The survey fished at 14 locations chosen from an analysis of VMS activity of dredges in 2020 plus two in otter-trawl derived areas (which caught no scallops). The results of this survey identified that spawning is still taking place or about to begin, with spawning likely to continue until late September. Additional observations of spawning condition will be required as the year progresses to determine when a threshold of spawning completion has been met.
The purpose of this consultation is to seek your views on an extended closure from 23.59h 29 August 2020 to 01 October 2020 to provide increased protection for spawning scallop stocks in the Dogger Bank area.
This consultation will run from 18 August 2020 to 24 August 2020 and is on behalf of the four UKFAs.
The open consultation document can be found here.
Source: Marine Management Organisation