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Marine Science



Isle of Man scallop conference. More than 120 marine scientists from 16 countries gathered on the Isle of Man last week for an International scallop conference to exchange ideas and experiences.

The International Pectinid Workshop, which was opened by Clare Barber MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA), was first held 50 years ago and covered a range of topics such as commercial fisheries, aquaculture and climate change.

Minister Barber, said:

Scallops are at the heart of our Biosphere and I, like many others, have many happy childhood memories of using their shells to scoop jellyfish off the beach and putting them back in the water, and more recently drinking Kiki’s Queenie shell vermouth, as part of the Manx Menu competition, showcasing the circular economy in action.

“Scallops are central to our fishing industry and marine environment and our collaborative approach with industry and scientists is ensuring that they remain environmentally sustainable and profitable, with real results.”

The event shone light on the Isle of Man’s own innovative approach to sustainable scallop management, which has progressed positively in recent years and delivered impressive results, which were recognised in 2023 Good Fish Guide.

The Island’s science-based approach dates back to the Port Erin Marine Laboratory, and sees DEFA working alongside Bangor University and a Scallop Management Board that represents the fishery and local seafood industry. Thanks to DEFA, a special session was also included on the packed programme, featuring short presentations where local fishermen, managers and scientists are encouraged to join in and share issues.

Peter Duncan, DEFA’s Senior Marine Biodiversity Officer and workshop organiser, said:  ‘The commitment and investment from the Isle of Man Government into the effective management of our scallop fisheries has allowed us to increase catch rates that should  be sustainable for years to come.’

Dr David Beard of the Manx Fish Producers’ Organisation, who talked at the industry session, said:

“The Isle of Man continues to demonstrate an enviable and sustainable approach to scallop fishing, and the conference is a great opportunity to find out more – and for those that attend  to listen to, and learn from, leading international experts.”