Manx Fish Producers Organisation
The Manx Fish Producers Organisation was established in 2003 having taken over from the Isle of Man Fishermen's Association, which started as a fisheries pressure group and chandlery in the mid 1970s. The reason for the change in name was largely to reflect the change in status of the organisation which now includes the managment of fish quotas. We still, however, have a chandlery and act as a fisheries political group both on the Island and in the United Kingdom.
There are thirty members of the organisation, mostly from mobile gear vessels that fish with scallop dredges and queenie trawls but also from five static gear vessels which fish mainly for lobster, brown crab and buckie whelks.
The Manx Fish Producers Organisation has probably been more proactive than any other scalloping organisation in the British Isles in promoting sustainability in its main fisheries of scallop dredging and queenie trawling. The fishermen have supported and indeed driven such technical conservation measures as the current spread of gear and the curfews that have helped to ensure a healthy fishery over the years.
More recently the fishermen have been giving active support for the temporary closure of Ramsey Bay and in drawing up the new marine nature reserve also in Ramsey Bay. Considering that the average size of Manx fishing vessels is in the range of 12 metres in length and thus weather prone, fishermen should be commended for their support for measures that have not only impacted financially on their working patterns but also restricted access to some of their traditional fishing grounds.