Isles of Scilly Fishery

Fishing is an important economic sector for the islands, providing jobs and fresh seafood for hotels and restaurants. All boats fishing in our district have to be less than ten tonnes or 11 metres and many fishing boats are small open boats that work a small number of pots.

The most important resources for fishermen in the Isles of Scilly are European lobsters and brown (edible) crabs that are caught in pots. We also have some fishermen using tangle nets who will be targeting crawfish (spiny lobster) and species such as monkfish; gill nets to catch pollack and grey mullet; and trammel nets to catch bait to use in lobster and crab pots. Pollack are also caught using hand lines and rods. There is just one boat that uses a light otter trawl to catch fish such as haddock, dover sole, megrim, plaice and john dory.

Fishing is seasonal, and primarily takes place between March and November. Working static gear in small boats through the winter in such exposed conditions would be uneconomical.

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