Scallop fishing in the North Sea around Dogger Bank will be suspended for four weeks from Sunday 12 July to Saturday 8 August to enable data gathering about the state of the shellfish stock.
Following a call for evidence, and engaging with the scallop industry, the four UK Fisheries Administrations have taken the decision to temporarily close the fishery.
A week long consultation took place earlier this month to which a total of 14 responses were received. The majority of responses shared the concerns of the Fisheries Administrations that there is insufficient scientific data currently available to be confident that the scallop stocks in the area can be sustained if these levels of fishing are maintained.
The closure will be in ICES rectangles 39F1, 39F2, 39F3, 38F1, 38F2, 38F3, 37F1 and 37F2. The closure will be reviewed based on the scientific data gathered during the suspension. Evidence to be collated will include information on the age of the stock and whether the stock is spawning.
The Fisheries Administrations appreciate the work that industry has done to date and are committed to continuing to liaise with the scallop industry throughout the closure, during the review and in any subsequent decisions or actions that result from the data gathering.
Fishing licences will be varied to reflect the situation.
Photo: Scallop boat, Q Varl in Scarborough late December 2018 (Credit: Mick Bayes Jr).