Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man cuts king scallop fishing licences

Fishing Boat Image copyright Manxscenes.com
Image caption The scallop fishing industry is worth millions of pounds to the Isle of Man every year

The Isle of Man is to cut the amount of king scallop fishing licences by almost 50% amid concerns about sustainability.

The Manx fisheries department said the number of vessels authorised to fish in Isle of Man waters will fall from 156 to about 88 from next month.

The move follows a recent public consultation regarding the multimillion-pound industry.

The government said the current trend of more fishing boats and larger catch sizes was taking its toll.

A spokesman added: "Stock is under increasing pressure, prompting concerns over the sustainability of this valuable fishery."

In 2015/16, some 4,500 tonnes of king scallops - worth about £4m - were landed on the Isle of Man.

It is thought the licence cap, which will take into account the size of vessels, will protect local fishermen dependant on the fishery.

Manx territorial waters stretch for 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the coast and incorporate about 4,000 sq km.

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