Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Queen scallops: Isle of Man in talks with UK amid overfishing fears

Queenie scallops Image copyright Other
Image caption The queen scallop industry is worth about £2.5M to the Isle of Man every year

The Manx government has entered talks with the United Kingdom about overfishing concerns in the Irish Sea.

The island's fisheries department said the move was designed to protect queen scallop stocks and "strike a balance between demand and sustainability".

Last year, research by Bangor University showed the volume of shell fish in Manx waters to have fallen by about 15,000 tonnes since 2010.

Manx fisheries minister Richard Ronan said stocks are now "worryingly low".

He added: "We are keeping the local industry closely involved and it's anticipated an industry meeting will be held later in the spring in advance of a formal consultation on proposed management measures."

The queen scallop (aequipecten opercularis) is a bivalve mollusc which can grow up to 9cm in diameter and is found at depths of 100m.

The industry is worth about £2.5m to the Isle of Man every year and many island fishermen rely solely on the queen scallop season.

The fisheries department said the first meeting with the UK jurisdictions took place in December and since then several conference calls have taken place.

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