In October, Irish Sea scallop fishermen, managers, and conservation groups came together for a workshop aimed at sharing information and ideas. GMRI was asked to advise the organizers due to our experience as a convenor in New England fisheries. The Irish Sea scallop fishery is managed by the Isle of Man and used by the UK, Scotland, Wales, and southern Ireland. Rolling closures were put in place to ensure sustainability by enabling dense seed beds to grow. Fishermen from each nation had been at odds over regulations.
Alexa Dayton, GMRI's Training and Outreach Community Program Manager, worked with Isle of Man Fisheries Director Andy Read to design a three-day Scallop Fisheries Science Workshop led and delivered by the local industry in partnership with managers and scientists. It created a shift in the tension. After three days, the industry voted to maintain the closures and explore the creation of an Irish Sea management board with all nations represented.
Scallop fisherman Frankie Horne commented, "The workshop helped establish an understanding that we are working towards a common goal."