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New Shellfish Licences Issued to Shetland Fishermen

Rachel Ralte
15 February 2017, at 12:00am

UK - Five new shellfish licences have been granted to creel and scallop fishermen in Shetland.

Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO), which manages the inshore fishery around the islands, has offered three licences for creel fishermen in different areas around Shetland.

They can catch all species apart from velvet crab – there is to be no more effort on this fishery at least until the velvet crab stock rebuilding process is complete.

SSMO has also offered an additional species-specific licence to a Foula fisherman to catch lobster in the waters around the island.

One licence to fish for scallops has also been granted.

SSMO inshore co-ordinator Carole Laignel said: “We are pleased to have been able to offer these new licences after taking a difficult decision last year to delay the process.

“Unfortunately many applicants have not been successful, but we would encourage them to re-apply as the SSMO Board hopes to be able to issue licences on a more regular basis dependent upon up to date stock assessment figures.”

Around 1,800 tonnes of shellfish with a value of £3.6 million were landed in Shetland during 2015, according to figures compiled by Dr Ian Napier of the NAFC Marine Centre in Scalloway.