Scallop dredging is set to be a focal point of the upcoming Fish Fight program, with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall advocating for dive-caught scallops.
Mark Greet, chairman of the UK scallop association, said this is the wrong focus.
"A number of high-profile chefs continue to urge consumers to seek out diver-caught rather than dredge-caught scallops because of the alleged destruction inflicted on the seabed by the latter," Greet told Undercurrent News, in relation to an article published in the Daily Mail by the chef.
"This is a grave mistake on their part because unlike traditional scallop fishing, scallop diving is unregulated with participants often taking shellfish from areas rich in marine life where no scalloping boat would be allowed to fish," he said.
The lack of management also means there is very little bio-toxin testing conducted on dive-caught scallops, which brings an element of risk to the sector, said Greet, who is also managing director of processor Falfish.
"It's also a fact that divers can only fulfill 2% of the country's current demand for scallops," he told Undercurrent. "The last thing we want to see is unnecessary, potentially damaging pressure exerted on the dive-caught scallop sector to land more shellfish, particularly when there is so much good work being done by traditional scallop fishermen."
The Scallop Association would "be only too glad" to discuss all scallop fishing practices with any chef, retailer or consumer that has concerns about the industry, said Greet.
Read the full story at Undercurrent News>>
National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first