Isle of Man queenies up for sustainable seafood award
Over the last decade Manx fisherman have worked alongside the government to balance commercial needs and the need to protect the marine environment.
Fisherman now use light mesh trawls instead of dredging the sea bed, while juvenile queenies are thrown back into the sea and protected.
Plans to make a stretch of the Isle of Man’s coastline into a Marine Conservation Zone were welcomed by local fisherman.
Under the proposal an area off Ramsey Bay would be closed to scallop dredging and queenie trawling to help replenish fisheries.
Billy Caley, Director of Isle of Man Seafoods, says fisherman are starting to feel the benefits of conservation.
“We’re seeing more queenies than we’ve ever seen in our lives.
“Instead of having to fish the grounds for 12 to 14 hours a day like we did a few years ago, we catch the same size of catches in six hours. We do have a genuine sustainable fishery,” Caley added.
Global consumption of seafood doubled between 1970 and 2000.
In turn the sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum in recent years as awareness about overfishing and environmentally-destructive fishing methods has grown.
The Sustainable Seafood Awards were set up four years ago to recognise fisheries who practice responsible marine management.