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Scallop Conservation Measures

New conservation measures for the Scottish King scallop fishery came into force on 1 June 2017:

Measure 1: Minimum Landing Size Increase

The minimum landing size (MLS) of King scallops was increased from 100 mm to 105 mm. This applies to all areas of Scotland apart from:

  • the Irish Sea south of 55°N (where the MLS remains at 110 mm)

  • Shetland, which has distinct management arrangements under the Shetland Regulating Order (where the MLS remains at 100 mm)

Measure 2: Dredge Number Restrictions

Vessels fishing inside 12 nautical miles of the Scottish coast will have to ensure that either:

  • any tow bar deployed is no more than 7.5 metres in length and is capable of carrying no more than 8 dredges per side


  • they have a remote electronic monitoring system installed that will allow Marine Scotland Compliance to inspect the number of dredges being used. Vessels with a system will be able to fish with up to 8 dredges per side in the 0-6 nautical mile area, and with up to 10 dredges per side in the 6-12 nautical mile area

Remote Electronic Monitoring

If you are interested in installing a remote electronic monitoring system on board your vessel, please contact Marine Scotland’s FDF Unit for more information. The FDF Unit can be contacted on 0300 244 9171/9184 or at

Technical Requirements

In order to be compliant with the new legislation, a remote electronic monitoring system must include the following:

  • a control box or storage box which is capable of housing and storing software and data —

    • consisting of recorded images from digital cameras and recorded data from winch sensors and a global positioning system device;

    • which is capable of storing a minimum of 1,000 hours of recorded data; and

    • which automatically over-writes the recorded data when the maximum data capacity is reached;

  • a minimum of 2 digital cameras, each of which —

    • produces images of at least 1,080 pixels per frame; and

    • is capable of visually recording fishing and related activities, including all movements related to the setting and hauling of fishing gear; and

    • has a minimum IP Rating of IP66;

  • winch sensors which are —

    • connected to the winches by which fishing gear can be deployed;

    • activated when the winches are operated; and

    • linked to the digital cameras in such a way that clear recorded camera images from the point at which the winches are operated can be readily retrieved;

  • a global positioning system device which automatically stores in the control box or storage box, at intervals of a least once every 10 seconds, the following information —

    • the fishing boat’s unique identifier;

    • the most recent geographical position of the fishing boat, using co-ordinates of latitude and longitude on the World Geodetic System 1984 Datum;

    • the date and time of the fixing of each geographical position of the fishing boat; and

    • the speed and course of the fishing boat at that time;

  • a means of enabling the master to view the recorded data in real-time on board the fishing boat on which the system is installed; and

  • a means of allowing a British Sea Fishery Officer —

    • from a position inside the wheelhouse of the fishing boat, to extract data held in the control box or storage box; and
    • to view recorded data on the system from a remote location

Background Information


These new management measures are the outcome of a 16-week consultation which took place from 9 October 2014 to 26 January 2015. The consultation sought views on a range of management proposals, including:

  • increasing the minimum landing size of King scallops

  • introducing new restrictions associated with the use of dredges

  • changes to licensing arrangements to restrict the upsizing of replacement vessels

  • placing restrictions on the time that vessels can spend at sea

The overall aim of the proposals was to improve the management of effort in the fishery after an expansion in recent years, and to attempt to increase the spawning stock biomass of the stock.

The outcome report is available to view/download here.


The consultation was informed by A Review of the Scottish Scallop Fishery. This was a report undertaken by Poseidon Consultants that considered:

  • structure and performance of the fleet

  • health of stocks

  • current management and regulation

  • environmental effects of the fishery

The review came about as a result of a consultation Marine Scotland ran in 2012 that proposed changes to dredge restrictions and increasing the minimum landing size of King scallops to 110 mm. No alterations to legislation came about as a result of this consultation, with respondents highlighting a lack of evidence to support the proposals.

The review was designed to inform options aimed at achieving a more productive, efficient and sustainable Scottish scallop sector. The final report can be downloaded below.

Scottish Scallop Fishery Review - Final Report

Downloadable document:

Title:Scallop Conservation Measures
Description:Forthcoming management measures for the Scottish King Scallop fishery
File:Scottish scallop fishery review - Final Report [PDF, 7459.0 kb: 16 May 2014]
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