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Isle of Man king scallop fishery

Update

Isle of Man Species Specific Licences (SSL) are non-transferable, nor saleable, and return to the Department on the disposal or loss of the vessel.  Administration of the licences is provided for by the Isle of Man Species Specific Licence Policy

The Department, having considered a recommendation from the Scallop Management Board in June 2021, has taken the decision to temporarily defer decisions relating to the re-issuing of King Scallop SSLs to new vessel owners, except in circumstances where such change in ownership transactions are already in progress, and/or the Department has been made aware of specific intentions to arrange a change in ownership, with effect from 21 June 2021.

This decision has been taken in the light of discussions by the Scallop Management Board in relation to fleet capacity management, and the recent introduction of support schemes in other jurisdictions which may significantly influence the market for vessels with SSL to fish in Manx waters.

This temporary deferment on issuing King Scallop SSLs to new owners will remain in effect until further notice, subject to long-term considerations on managing access to the king scallop fishery within Manx waters.

2021 SCE Season

The IOM king scallop season commences annually on 1 November and runs until 31 May.

King Scallop uptake report for the Isle of Man territorial sea 2021-2022

King Scallop Uptake report Week 10

Isle of Man King Scallop Long-term Management Plan (LTMP)

In August 2021, the Department launched a Joint Consultation with the Isle of Man Scallop Management Board on a long-term management plan for king scallop fishery management. The consultation closed on the 29 October, and a summary of responses was uploaded to the consultation hub in November. The summary of responses document can be downloaded from the consultation hub

The Department and the Scallop Management Board will now work to develop an LTMP for the fishery. However, the Department has also approved two initial proposals following the 2021 consultation. Please see below for details:

Dredges-a-side and gear specifications

With effect from 1 November 2022, the Department shall impose new and adjusted measures relating to dredges-a-side, tow bar length, and teeth numbers. The regulations will read as follows (with significant changes compared to existing rules highlighted in bold):

A person on a fishing boat in the territorial waters of the Isle of Man must not fish for, take, or kill king scallops, using scallop dredges by means of:

  • (a) a tow bar that exceeds 5.5 metres in length
  • (b) a tow bar 5.5 metres or lessin length which is constructed in such a way as to enable more than 6 scallop dredges to be attached to it at the same time
  • (c) a scallop dredge with more than 8 teeth per dredge
  • (d) a tow bar that exceeds 185 mm in diameter
  • (e) a scallop dredge with a tooth spacing between the internal edges of less than 85 mm on the dredge or tooth bar
  • (f) a scallop dredge with belly rings having a clear opening of less than 75 mm internal diameter
  • (g) a scallop dredge with a mesh size of less than 100 mm in the netting cover and
  • (h) a French dredge

A person on a fishing boat in the three mile area of the Isle of Man (0-3 NM zone) must not fish for, take, or kill king scallops, using scallop dredges by means of:

  • (a) a system of scallop dredges with an aggregate width of more than 762 cms;
  • (b) more than 10 dredges in total

A person on a fishing boat in the extended territorial sea of the Isle of Man (3-12 NM zone) must not fish for, take, or kill king scallops, using scallop dredges by means of:

  • (a) a system of scallop dredges with an aggregate width of more than 915 cms
  • (b) more than 6 scallop dredges from any side of the vessel and
  • (c) more than 12 scallop dredges in total

No person shall carry onboard any fishing boat within the territorial sea (0-12 NM zone) scallop fishing gear designed for king scallop fishing other than in accordance with the above conditions, or any tow bar extensions, except where:

  • (a) the vessel is transiting the territorial sea at a speed of no less than 4.0 knots (speed over ground) and
  • (b) the gear is lashed and stowed so that it is not readily available for use whilst the vessel is in the territorial sea

Research Contribution (Pilot) Scheme

In 2022, the Department will trial a pilot scheme that allows the industry to establish a Research Fund using ‘excess scallops’. Note: vessels are not automatically signed-up to the Scheme. Vessels and processors must sign-up together and have a permit issued by the Department.

The industry research fund will be generated by the sale of excess scallops that vessels are currently required to discard in order to remain under the 700 kg daily catch limit. The Scheme shall be authorised by a conditional Fishery Improvement Permit issued by the Department.

The Scheme will be initially used to support the MFPOs high-resolution scallop surveys, which has helped to manage stocks based on the best-available scientific data.

The Scheme will maximise the use of the scallop resource by reducing discards (providing conservation benefits) as well as supporting industry efforts to survey scallop populations and ensure fishing is sustainable.

Landings of excess scallops will count against the fishery Total Allowable Catch (quota) and are capped at 30 tonnes.

Initially, the Scheme will be limited to Island-based vessels and processors. The Scheme shall be reviewed in 2022, and participation may be extended to non-IOM vessels if it is shown to be successful.

How it works: Simply, processors receiving excess scallops from participating vessels (in addition to the 700 kg daily catch limit) must not pay the landed value of excess scallops to the vessel, but instead into an industry survey fund.

The fund shall have oversight from DEFA, who will monitor both landings and payments. Expenditure of the fund shall also have oversight from DEFA, and will be used to deliver the research priorities of the industry, represented by the Scallop Management Board.

Strict Terms and Conditions apply to those participating in the Scheme, which will be reviewed after this current season. The Scheme policy document is available for download in the ‘downloadable documents’ section of this page.

The Scheme is voluntary. If a vessel enters the scheme but does not comply with the conditions, it shall have its permit revoked. If a processor enters the scheme but does not comply with the conditions, all permits associated with that processor shall be revoked. The Department reserves the right to end the Scheme at any time by revoking all permits.

Further updates

The Department and the Scallop Management Board will continue to work closely on the development of an LTMP document, which may include additional measures and policies that aim to deliver a bio-economically successful inshore scallop fishery in the Islands territorial waters through a long-term strategy.

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