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Page last updated at 10:35 GMT, Thursday, 27 January 2011
Isle of Man queenies up for sustainable seafood award

Director of Fisheries Andy Read on how fishermen benefit from marine conservation

Isle of Man Fisheries are through to the final round of the UK Sustainable Seafood Awards to be held in London.

Manx queen scallops are among six products from all over the world competing at the event at Billingsgate Market on 27 January.

The awards are designed to promote sustainable practice across the seafood industry and conserve fish stocks.

Director of Fisheries Andy Read said: "It's a chance to showcase our queenies to the world and secure new markets.

"We have significantly reduced the impact of the fishery on the marine environment and deserve recognition for that," he added.

Replenish stocks

Over the last decade Manx fisherman have worked alongside the government to balance commercial needs and the need to protect the marine environment.

Ramsey Harbour by David Kneale
Ramsey Bay has been proposed as a no fishing zone

Fisherman now use light mesh trawls instead of dredging the sea bed, while juvenile queenies are thrown back into the sea and protected.

Plans to make a stretch of the Isle of Man's coastline into a Marine Conservation Zone were welcomed by local fisherman.

Under the proposal an area off Ramsey Bay would be closed to scallop dredging and queenie trawling to help replenish fisheries.

Billy Caley, Director of Isle of Man Seafoods, says fisherman are starting to feel the benefits of conservation.

Destructive fishing

"We're seeing more queenies than we've ever seen in our lives.

"Instead of having to fish the grounds for 12 to 14 hours a day like we did a few years ago, we catch the same size of catches in six hours. We do have a genuine sustainable fishery," Caley added.

Global consumption of seafood doubled between 1970 and 2000.

In turn the sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum in recent years as awareness about overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods has grown.

The Sustainable Seafood Awards were set up four years ago to recognise fisheries who practice responsible marine management.

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