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Manx Queenie Fishery Enters Marine Stewardship Council Eco-Label Assessment 11 August 2008

The Isle of Man already has an international reputation for the quality and taste of its locally caught shellfish. Today, the Manx Queen Scallop fishery took an important step to cement that growing reputation by entering the full assessment process for Marine Stewardship Council certification. If successful, Manx ‘Queenies’ will be eligible to display the coveted MSC eco-label showing that they come from a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

The Manx Queen Scallop fishery originated in the 1960s and has grown steadily since. Queen scallops are now the second most valuable species landed to the Island. Both Manx and non-Manx vessels operate in this fishery using a variety of fishing gears. The assessment will include only the Manx queenie trawl vessels.

David Callister MLC Member for Agriculture said: ‘I am delighted that the process of full assessment has commenced. This move demonstrates the commitment the Department has to sustainable management of the rich and varied fish stocks found within Manx waters. The Department has worked with Bangor University to start a research and monitoring programme that we hope will demonstrate the sustainable management of the Manx Queenie over the coming months. Achieving MSC certification will be a great boost to fishermen, processors and the reputation of the Isle of Man.’

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC said: “I am delighted that the Isle of Man queen scallop fishery has entered full assessment. This is a pioneering move from a fishery keen to use the MSC assessment and certification process to demonstrate its environmental credentials to consumers who are increasingly looking for independent assurance of sustainability. I am sure that the MSC certified restaurants and retailers will follow their assessment with great interest.”

A celebration of the Manx Queenie has been taking place this week and will continue over the weekend with cookery demonstrations at the Royal Manx Agricultural Show and Marine Day at Port St Mary on Saturday. Island Seafare will have a stand at the Royal Show on Friday and Saturday selling the Islands’ fresh sea food and Marine Day will be taking place all day on the Quay in Port St Mary with Si King and Dave Myers, better known as the Hairy Bikers, with local chefs, demonstrating their own favourite recipes for Manx queenies.

Mr Callister continued: ‘This weekend provides a great opportunity for local people to get involved with two very important industries on our Island, agriculture and fishing. I hope that people will visit both the Royal Show and the Marine Day to find out more about our wonderful Manx produce and sea food.'

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