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Kirkcudbright scallop boat skipper and owner fined for breaching Isle of Man fisher regulations

Daily Record logoDaily Record 29/03/2018 Stephen Norris
a boat docked at a dock © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited

A Kirkcudbright scallop boat skipper and its owner have been fined for breaching Isle of Man fishery regulations.

Anthony True was caught fishing for king scallops in the 21-metre Kingfisher within three nautical miles of the island without a permit.

Manx rules only allow vessels of 15 metres or less to fish for scallops inside the three-mile limit.

Mr True and owner John King, of West Coast Sea Products Ltd, pleaded guilty when they appeared before the Deputy High Bailiff in Douglas.

They were fined £5,000 and £12,000 respectively.

The breach was discovered following an investigation by Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) fisheries officers.

Data collected from the Kingfisher’s monitoring system showed it had been fishing 650 metres inside the three-mile limit on November 11.

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The defendants told the court they had made “a genuine mistake” and the vessel had strayed for only an hour within the prohibited three-mile zone.

DEFA has suspended the boat’s Isle of Man fishing licence for three months of the king scallop season.

The policy to suspend or cancel licences was introduced last month.

It replaced the controversial “report to port” policy temporarily introduced in January to tackle suspected misreporting of catches.

Manx Fisheries Minister Geoffrey Boot said: “This is the first time we have suspended a licence to fish for king scallops.

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“It is a powerful tool, ensuring the offender pays rather than those who play by the rules. We work tirelessly to protect the island’s fishing grounds to ensure their long term sustainability.

“Our policy and approach can only be a success if everyone adheres to the rules and understands that these will be rigorously enforced.”

He added: “The department has a zero tolerance approach to violations of the law and actively purses prosecutions.

“No one should be in any doubt how seriously we take our custodianship of our territorial seas.”

Breaches of the Manx Fisheries Act 2012 can mean fines of up to £100,000, forfeiture of catch, boat and or gear.

The court may also, upon conviction, disqualify a person from holding a fishing licence.

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