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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK
Scallop survey finds high stocks
Scallops
The scallops will be harvested in 2008-9
High numbers of scallops have been found in waters off the Isle of Man in an annual survey.

The survey was commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF).

It found one particular bed of scallops off Peel is 20 times denser than any other bed seen in more than 20 years of pre-season surveys.

Minister for Agriculture Phil Gawne said the find "could be of huge benefit to Manx fishermen in years to come."

'Voluntary closure'

The scallops found are currently two years old and will not mature and reach the minimum landing size until 2008-9.

They have to be a certain size before they can be legally caught.

Mr Gawne has now imposed a temporary closure on fishing in the area to protect the scallops.

"I understand from Manx Fish Producers Organisation that fishermen are unwilling for the department to bring in legal protection for these juvenile scallops, but I would nevertheless ask that all fishermen respect a voluntary closure of the area until these scallops have reached maturity," he said.

"The department will continue to charter local vessels to monitor the growth of these juveniles until they reach the legal minimum size."

SEE ALSO
End of era for scallop fisheries
31 Oct 06 |  Isle of Man
Fisherman opposes scallop law
08 Apr 03 |  Cornwall
Reef fear over scallop dredging
07 Mar 03 |  England
Fears for shellfish industry
13 Sep 02 |  Scotland

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