Isle of Man queen scallops crowned sustainable
The fishery producing Manx Queenies, the Isle of Man's famous queen scallops, were last night crowned by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as a certified sustainable and well-managed fishery. The coveted MSC certificate was presented at an industry dinner in Fishmongers' Hall in central London, reports www.megafishnet.com with reference to MSC.
The certified Queenies are caught by Isle of Man registered day-boats using an otter trawl and have been certified after a 21 month assessment. A second fishery using toothless dredges to catch Queenies was not recommended for certification and will exit the MSC programme.
About queen scallops
Queen scallops are small (5cm), relatively short-lived scallops, often with a colourful shell. Despite being a shellfish, they can swim freely by squirting water from between their shells. Queen scallops are prized by chefs and, every year, the Isle of Man celebrates them in a three-day ‘Queenie Festival' - this year on 1st - 3rd July.
Close working partnership
John Shimmin MHK, Minister for the Isle of Man Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture said: "MSC accreditation of the Isle of Man Queenie fishery has only been possible as a result of the close working partnership between government, fishermen and processors. All three parties have worked hard over the last few years to improve the sustainability and quality of Isle of Man Queenies, which discerning consumers can now purchase with confidence. I hope in the coming months that we will be able to extend this partnership, and in time that the whole of the Irish Sea queenie stocks will be able to benefit from measures similar to those introduced in Manx waters. "
Billy Caley, ex-skipper and owner of Isle of Man Seafood Ltd, added "Fishermen and processors here on the Isle of Man have worked closely together to ensure that only the best quality queenies are landed, with the remainder of the stock being protected for the future. This award is recognition of this hard work and we look forward to supplying the first MSC certified queenies when the season re-opens on June 1st. "
Building on success
Presenting the certificate, Claire Pescod, UK Fisheries Outreach Manager for the MSC said: "I am delighted to congratulate the Isle of Man on trawl fishermen on their certification. The certificate includes a number of conditions on the fishery which will build on the good work already carried out in the run up to, and during the assessment by the fishermen, Isles of Man Government and processors. I am looking forward to continuing to celebrate MSC certified Queenies on the Isle of Man at the Queenie Festival. "