The government could suspend an industry worth £5million to the Isle of Man after taking advice from scientists.
They are recommending fishing should be suspended this year to allow severely depleted queen scallop stock levels to recover.
'We appreciate there will be concern over this year’s fishery among those who fish for queen scallops, processors and those who purchase the product, both locally and when exported,' said Phil Gawne, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture.
'We have a difficult and delicate line to tread between taking an unpopular decision now to ensure the longer term future of this important industry and limiting the impact on those who fish for queenies for a living, and on the wider economy.’
David Beard of the Manx Fish Producers Organisation said the Manx fleet would see a reduction in their income for this queenie season and probably next seasons as well, adding: 'It is no good to our members, or the Manx public, if we take the necessary steps to protect the long term future of the queenie fishery but we lose Manx fishermen along the way.'
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