Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Fresh restrictions placed on Isle of Man king scallop fishing

Fishing boats moored in Peel harbour
Image caption The entire king scallop fishery will be closed over the Christmas period

Fresh restrictions have been placed on the Isle of Man's king scallop fisheries.

The volume that can be caught has been reduced by 20% of the 2018 limit by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture.

Environment Minister Geoffrey Boot said the move would help to keep the "important industry" sustainable.

Boats licensed to fish in Manx waters will be restricted to a daily catch of 560kg, down from 700kg.

And the entire scallop fishery will be closed between 22 December 2019 and 3 January 2020, DEFA said.

The total amount that can be landed during the seven-month season has been limited to just over 2,000 tonnes.

The king scallop fishery, which runs between November and May, is worth £12m to the island's economy annually.

Image caption The king scallop season started on 1 November

The measures were recommended by the island's scallop management board, which includes fishermen and fish processors, based on information collected during last year's season and an industry survey.

Mr Boot said the new catch limits would allow those in the industry to "help to balance the productivity of the fishery with the protection of stocks from overfishing".

He continued: "By building sustainable fisheries now, this economically important industry will continue into the future."

The limits would be reviewed at the end of November, he added.

The island's queen scallop fishery also faced major restrictions this year after a survey showed stocks were at their lowest since 1993.

The Manx fishing industry, which also includes catches of crab and lobster, nets the island's economy about £20m a year.

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