Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man king scallop fishery partially reopens

Fishing boats in Peel Harbour courtesy Image copyright
Image caption The scallop fishing industry is worth millions of pounds to the Isle of Man every year

The Manx king scallop fishery has partially reopened after it was suspended due to shellfish toxins.

The season, which begins on 1 November, was halted on the west coast of the island after tests showed abnormally high levels of domoic acid.

Excessive levels of the naturally-occurring substance, stored in the scallop's digestive system, can cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP).

Fishing in two areas- Bradda and Chickens- will reopen on 11 November.

A fisheries spokesman said levels of domoic acid had fallen to satisfactory levels in both fishing grounds but the remaining area, off the coast of Peel on the west coast, will remain closed while sampling continues.

"Levels diminish naturally and will drop as the scallops metabolise the domoic acid," he added.

Unusually high levels of domoic acid were caused by a bloom of the phytoplankton this summer.

Shellfish toxin levels are regulated by EU legislation.

The king scallop season in Isle of Man waters runs until 31st May.

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