Fishing agreement gives more control to Isle of Man

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image captionIsland fishermen are working with the government to manage fish stocks

A new fisheries agreement which gives the Isle of Man more control over its territorial waters has been signed with the UK.

The deal means the Isle of Man government has the final word on all fishing rights within a 12 mile zone from the Manx coast.

Previously the island could only control up to three miles out to sea.

Agriculture Minister Phil Gawne said: "This however does not mean we will be excluding visiting fishing vessels."

'Wiped out'

He added: "If we did this, I wouldn't be at all surprised if our vessels then were excluded from other waters.

"What it means is that we can now manage our fish stocks in a sustainable way to ensure the long term health of the industry."

At the beginning of the year the government closed a rich queenie scallop fishery to protect stocks against over fishing.

The changes were agreed by fishermen, the government and marine scientists and restricted fishing at a queenie ground near Chicken Rock in the south of the Isle of Man.

"There has been some very damaging fishing in the past which wiped out fish stocks. We can now put in measures to ensure we don't allow that any more," Mr Gawne said.

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