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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 21:01 GMT
Scallop survey results defended
Scallops
The scallops have to be a certain size before they can be caught
The fisheries minister has defended his decision to publish the results of a survey of baby scallops in Manx waters.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) said in October a bed of scallops off Peel was denser than it had been in 20 years.

Scottish and Irish fishermen then plundered the scallop bed, which was marked off-limits to Manx boats, ministers said.

Fisheries minister Phil Gawne said he could not have totally closed the bed.

He said without the agreement of UK authorities, he did not have to close the scallop bed as it was outside the island's three-mile limit.

Instead, he imposed a ban on fishing in the area for Manx fishermen, in a bid to protect the scallops, which were not expected to reach the minimum landing size until 2008-9.

When the bed was fished, the scallops were too young, meaning they were wiped out before they had a chance to grow.

Mr Gawne had been challenged over the matter by Michael MHK David Cannan in the House of Keys.



SEE ALSO
Scallop survey finds high stocks
19 Oct 07 |  Isle of Man
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

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