Fishing for whelks is to be controlled across the whole of the Island’s seas to assist the sustainability of the species.
While there are restrictions on catching whelks from the shore to three miles out to sea, little protection exists for the species in the rest of the Island’s seas, which extend 12 miles out.
The Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) is introducing a requirement for a species-specific licence from 17th August.
The measure comes after discussions with the industry and a public consultation.
Licences will be issued to those who can demonstrate they fished for whelks between 3 and 12 miles out in 2016 or are permitted to fish for whelks further inshore.
There will also be limits on the number of pots that can be used to catch whelks.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘Whelks are one of five major species – along with king and queen scallops, lobsters and crabs – caught in Manx waters that contribute to an increasingly high-value and quality industry.
‘They were the only species of the five not to require specific licences from three to 12 miles, leaving them open to exploitation.
‘As outlined in our Future Fisheries strategy, we must manage our fishery in the long-term interests of the industry.
‘We hope this measure will contribute to a sustainable and viable whelk fishery that is so important to our economy.’