King Scallop Fishery Closure To Protect Stocks

King scallop fishing by UK and EU vessels is to be suspended in UK waters of ICES area VIId after consultation with the UK scallop industry and the Government’s marine science service Cefas.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and fellow UK Fisheries Administrations (UKFAs) have closed the fishery in UK waters from 15 August until 4 October 2021 to all over-10m vessels. In EU waters of VIId, the closure applies to all UK vessels, including those under 10m.

The closure follows scientific advice and is designed to protect spawning and sustain stocks.

Alongside this closure, the sea area south of parallel 49°42’ N in ICES area VIId known as the Bay of Seine will be closed to scallop fishing by UK vessels from 15 August until 18 October 2021. France already has similar measures in its waters for its scallop fleet.

Fishing licences for UK and EU vessels have been varied to enact the closure, which was requested by representatives of the UK scallop industry to help conserve stocks in the area.

The move follows a four-year survey by Cefas that demonstrated that king scallops in sea area VIId have been fished at close to unsustainable levels.

The MMO and UKFAs are committed to continuing to work with scientists and industry to ensure fisheries are managed to a level where stocks are healthy and fished sustainably; the marine environment is protected; and economic return for fishers is supported without impacting stock sustainability and environmental protections.

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