Work that is leading to a better understanding of sea fisheries will continue following the re-appointment of Bangor University as external scientific adviser.
Sea fisheries are worth £12 million a year to the Island’s economy, with the product exported all over the world.
Bangor University was first appointed to advise the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) in 2007 following the closure of the Port Erin Marine Laboratory.
The university’s current contact ends in August 2015. It has been reappointed for a further five years following a tendering exercise, DEFA has announced.
Karen McHarg, Director of Fisheries with DEFA, said Bangor scientists conduct the detailed queen scallop stock assessment and collect data for all the major commercial species, including scallop, crab and lobster.
They advise the Manx Fish Producers’ Organisation and the Queen Scallop Management Board – a body that has membership from all the Irish Sea fishing jurisdictions.
‘Two Bangor scientists are based at DEFA, working closely with officers and the fishing community and this has worked well to integrate the science, Government and industry working relationship.
‘The priorities are continuing with queen scallop stock assessment work, developing a stock assessment for king scallops and working with industry on local crab, lobster and whelk populations.’
Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘The Department will continue to work in collaboration with Bangor University and the Science Steering Group, a body established last year on the recommendation of the Queen Scallop Management Board.
‘It is important going forward in managing our sea fisheries that all the stakeholders are involved in this process, scientists and industry alike. The Isle of Man does not receive EU funding like its neighbouring jurisdictions and yet is determined to progress and manage sustainable fisheries into the future.’