The Scallop Management Board who jointly advise on the Isle of Man Scallop fishery recently decided to close off a section in the south of the Isle of Man for fishing vessels. This call came directly from the fishing industry’s request.
Known as the Bradda Restricted Area, it spans about 12 square kilometers. Initially, fishing boats were only permitted to catch King Scallops there for one day per week. Dr. David Beard from the Isle of Man Fish Producers Organisation explained that this restriction was put in place due to a high concentration of young scallops in that area.
Once the zone was open, local vessels took full advantage of the one-day-a-week fishing allowance, resulting in incredibly high catch rates. However, this led to concerns about the area needing time to bounce back after such intense fishing activity. Dr. Beard mentioned that the Bradda Restricted Area is expected to reopen sometime in the New Year, probably around March.
This closure follows a successful year for King and Queen Scallop fisheries, both in terms of quantity and quality. These positive results are attributed to strict conservation measures enforced in recent years, aiming to protect the fishery for the future.