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Worrying time for Manx queenie industry

 

This year's queenie fishing season is in serious doubt after scientists recommended fishing should be suspended entirely for a year to allow stocks to recover.

The advice comes from Bangor University which reports to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture and the Queen Scallop Management Board on stock levels each summer.

An agreed catch limit is set and when this is reached the fishery is closed.

But after record catches in the last four years and low numbers replacing them, stock levels are currently believed to be 53% below historic levels and 88% below peak levels seen in 2011-12.

Based on these figures, the Marine Stewardship Council certificate for the Manx queen scallop fishery has been suspended pending improvement in the stock.

The advice is a blow for the Manx queenie industry, estimated to be worth £5 million.

Fisheries Minister Phil Gawne says discussions are ongoing between all parties and some difficult decisions lie ahead to ensure long term sustainability:

 

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