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Whelk licence now winkled out

Regulations come into force

New measures to protect whelk stocks are now officially in place in Manx waters.

Until recently, whelks were one of only five species - including king and queen scallops, lobsters and crabs - not to require specific licences from three to twelve miles in the Island's territorial waters.

But following discussions with industry and a public consultation, new regulations came into place yesterday which mean a species-specific licence is now required to fish for whelks between those distances.

Licences will be issued to those who can demonstrate they fished for the species there last year - or who are permitted to fish further inshore anyway.

There will also be limits on the number of pots that can be used to catch whelks.

DEFA Minister Geoffrey Boot says he hopes the move will contribute to a sustainable fishery.

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