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Final Scallop Survey Completed by Port Erin Marine Biological Station 2 November 2006

After more than 40 years advising the Isle of Man Government about the Island’s scallop and queenie fisheries, the final Port Erin Marine Laboratory scallop survey was completed last Friday, 27th October. The occasion also marks the end of formal involvement with the Department of Dr Andy Brand, the Marine Laboratory’s scallop expert. Dr Brand has been instrumental in assisting the Department develop a wide range of innovative management measures to protect and enhance the Island’s scallop fishery.

Making a presentation to Dr Brand to mark the occasion on 31st October 2006, Phil Gawne, Minister for the Department, said ‘The Department greatly appreciates the lifetime of work Dr Brand has given to enhancing our understanding of the Manx scallop fishery. Scientific input from Dr Brand has been a vital component in helping the Department gain acceptance and support for the conservation measures introduced over the last decade. Those measures are now widely credited with safeguarding the fishery.’

The Minister went on to say ‘As our understanding of the fishery has grown, the Department has, with assistance from Dr Brand, moved away from monitoring stocks to considering ways of enhancing them The closure of the Port Erin Marine Laboratory will not prevent the Department from continuing to build on this valuable work, and I would hope that Dr Brand will retain an interest in this work in the coming years’.

Notes to editors

1. The Department has provided funds to Port Erin Marine Laboratory for many years, to monitor the Manx scallop and queenie fisheries, and to provide fisheries management advice to the Department. Dr Brand arrived on the Island, following appointment as a lecturer, in 1966 and was expected to carry out research on local fisheries. This initially involved research and advice on the local herring industry which was an important part of the Manx economy at that time. Dr Brand subsequently moved to his supervisory role in respect of scallops in 1971. Dr Brand also completed a Ph.D. on the burrowing mechanisms in bivalves.

2. The experimental closed area off Port Erin, introduced in 1989, was the first of its kind in the UK. The Department intends to designate a second closed area during 2007.

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