National Fisherman


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>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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