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New shellfish licences

A TOTAL of five new shellfish licences have been granted to fishermen across Shetland after a delay on offering new permits was lifted.

Shetland Shellfish Management Organisation (SSMO) gave permits to three creel fishermen across the isles, although they are not able to catch velvet crab until its stocks have been rebuilt.

A licence has also been given to a Foula fisherman to catch lobster around the island, as well as a scallop fisherman.

In December 2015, SSMO announced that it would put a temporary ban on giving out new licences across all species due to concerns over stock figures.

SSMO inshore co-ordinator Carole Laignel said those who have not been granted licences should not be deterred from applying in the future.

“We are pleased to have been able to offer these new licences after taking a difficult decision last year to delay the process,” she said.

“Unfortunately many applicants have not been successful, but we would encourage them to re-apply as the SSMO board hopes to be able to issue licences on a more regular basis dependent upon up to date stock assessment figures.”

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