This consultation sought opinion on changes in two areas:
- Introducing joint Anglo/Scottish management measures with regards to dredge restrictions
- Increasing the minimum landing size of scallops and changing compliance
With regard to the adoption of joint Anglo/Scottish dredge limits, although there was a majority in support of restricting the number of dredges that could be used in the six to 12 nautical mile zone (though with comments that this may make some vessels unviable), there was strong opposition (especially from environmental organisations) to the lifting of restrictions outside 12 nautical miles.
Increasing the minimum landing size of scallops earned majority support (as did changing compliance measures to make policing easier). However, there was strong opposition from processors and some catchers whose comments fell into two categories. Firstly, that the proposal would negatively impact upon their business and secondly that in some areas around the Scottish coast scallops did not grow to 110mm.
A clear theme in the responses was a lack of scientific underpinning for changes and concerns from businesses regarding the economic impact proposals could have on vessels and onshore processors. It has therefore been decided to maintain the status quo in relation to scallop management, but carry out work to decide whether changes to the current scallop management structure are necessary.
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