UK king scallop fishery temporarily closed 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 UK government’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) confirmed late last week.

The closure in UK waters applies to vessels over 10 metres in length and will last from August 15 to October 4, 2021. In the EU waters of VIId, the closure applies to all UK vessels, including those under 10 metres.

The MMO said 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 August 15 until October 18, 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.


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