In 2010, the UK fleet landed 43,000 tonnes of Scallops, worth an estimated £54m into UK ports (Marine Management Organisation statistics) with over 98% of these Scallops being caught by vessels using dredges and a much smaller amount harvested by divers. Approximately 60% of these Scallops are exported to European Countries, and France in particular, where British Scallops are held in high regard.
The Scallop Association was formed in 1998 and is the only UK-wide organisation representing the interests of approximately 70% the UK Scallop fishermen, gear manufacturers, a small number of scallop divers and 70% of the UK Scallop processors. It is recognised by environmental NGOs and statutory agencies as the voice of the industry.
On various issues it presents the views of its members at local, national and EU level where, for example, proposed new legislation is likely to impact on the livelihoods of those earning their living from the fishery.
The Association collaborates with bodies such as the Food Standards Agency in matters such as toxin testing, and strives to promote and preserve the UK industry in the face of foreign competition. It also addresses issues of gear conflict and is increasingly becoming involved in discussions with NGOs on environmental matters.
The Scallop Association also has affiliations from the South West Inshore Fishermen’s Association (SWIFA) and the South Western FPO (SWFPO) and is itself affiliated to the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF).