Queenie Management Board Introduces Voluntary Tie Up Scheme Published: 20 September, 2011
The Isle of Man Queenie Management Board yesterday confirmed that member-vessels had agreed to a voluntary Tie-Up Scheme, across the whole of the Irish Sea, to safeguard the Queenie Stock, which was facing unprecedented levels of fishing effort.
Chairman of the board, Peter Winterbottom said: The 2011 Isle of Man Queenie season has been as successful as that seen in 2010. Catch rates and quality have been exceptionally high since the fishery opened on June 1st. However, members of the board are in unanimous agreement that current levels of fishing effort across the Irish Sea are unsustainable, and that without immediate action the stock as a whole is in danger of depletion.
Boom and bust is not in the interest of consumer, fisherman or processor, and the fishermen and processors on the board are keen to put in place measures that will prevent this occurring. With effect from Monday 26th September, all member vessels will fish for queenies for a maximum of three days in any one week, until further notice. The board is writing to other stakeholders to ask that they also agree to this measure, in order to safeguard the viability of the fishery.
Scottish processor and vessel owner John King, based in Kirkcudbright, added: It is in all our interests to ensure that we have a stable, successful and secure fishery. As well as fishermens livelihoods, several hundred processing jobs in Kirkcudbright, Fleetwood and the Isle of Man depend on this fishery, and we cannot afford to lose these for the short-term gain that the industry will receive from continuing to fish at current levels.
John Shimmin, Minister for the Department said: I welcome this move by fishermen and processors with a stake in the Isle of Man Queenie Fishery. The far-sighted approach being taken by the board members vindicates entirely my wish to give greater responsibility for management of the industry to its stakeholders, and flies in the face of those who would criticise the industry as being short-sighted and irresponsible.
My Department will be contacting its counterparts in the other Irish Sea Administrations to ask for wider support for this measure, to protect the whole of the Irish Sea stock on behalf of all our fishermen, processors and customers. This move should give the growing and enthusiastic customer base for Irish Sea queenies the confidence to plan for the future based on consistent, high-quality landings from the fishery.