SCOTLAND'S £30 million scallop-dredging industry will be subject to a wide-ranging review by ministers in the wake of claims it is wrecking the seabed and destroying fish stocks.
A campaign by chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall in his Hugh's Fish Fight TV show has sparked public concern, but has also upset the industry. A review, due to start in April, could lead to new controls.
Calum Duncan of the Marine Conservation Society said: "Biologically diverse reefs and other complex habitats can be irreversibly damaged."
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Industry body Seafish says scallop fishing supports 1150 Scottish jobs. Chief executive Dr Paul Williams said: "We must not lose sight of the importance of the industry to Scotland's economically fragile coastal communities."
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "Scotland is at the forefront of developing sustainable fishing practices and following a consultation on scallop fishing last year we have announced a wide-ranging review of the industry in Scotland."