Scientists at Bangor University, working with the Welsh Fishermen's Association Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government, have published their findings from what they say is the world's biggest ever fishing impact study.
They chose twelve sites in Cardigan Bay where scallop fishing was halted in 2009.
The sites were fished at different intensities and compared to four areas which were left unfished. The results suggest the area can sustain a certain level of fishing.
The study could open the door for fishing to resume once a sustainable level is decided.