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Stocks will benefit from far reaching new bye-laws

A radical overhaul of the laws covering queenie fishing in the Isle of Man are coming into effect.

Over half of Manx territorial waters will be permanently closed to dredgers, and there will be an annual closed season from April 1 to May 31.

There will be a ban on new vessels with engine power greater than 221 kilowatts and officials are being given the power to close the whole fishery if total catch exceeds scientific recommendations.

The changes will also see a shake-up of how the industry is regulated, with the creation of a Queenie Management Board, made up of representatives from the catching and processing sectors.

It will take on responsibility for management of the fishery, with the government only intervening if stocks are deemed to be at risk.

The new bye-laws come into effect this week (commencing August 2), and Fisheries Minister John Shimmin says they reflect the growing importance of queenie fishing and will give greater protection to the stocks than ever before.

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