Fishermen won’t be allowed to catch as many king scallops when the new season starts next month.
It’s one of a number of recommendations put forward by the Island’s Scallop Management Board.
Members agreed that a reduction in Total Allowable Catch for the coming season was essential in order to protect the vulnerable stock.
The allowable catch will be reduced from last season’s 3,203 tonnes to 2,562 tonnes.
A daily catch limit of 700kg per vessel and a closure of the fishery over the Christmas and New Year period has also been recommended.
The decisions are based upon an authoritative report produced by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s independent fisheries science advisors at Bangor University.
It shows that king scallop stocks are continuing to decline, and that a precautionary approach is needed to ensure the long-term viability of the sector.
Minister Geoffrey Boot says: “The economic effect of the declining king scallop stock has been hidden by the higher prices being charged, but there is no mistaking the downward trend in the availability of this valuable resource.
“Bangor University’s report clearly shows this to be true.
“That’s why I endorse the recommendations of the Scallop Management Board.
“Reducing the total catch across the coming season will ensure that this continues to be a sustainable and economically worthwhile business for all those who fish for king scallops in Manx waters.”