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Scottish firm fined £20,000 for flouting Manx fishing rules

Thursday, 26 October 2023

A Scottish firm has been fined £20,000 after its vessel was found fishing illegally in the Isle of Man’s territorial waters last year.

The owner of the Star Fishing Company Limited pleaded guilty to fishing for King Scallops without a licence on 3 December 2022 at Douglas Courthouse on Tuesday.

Picture of the Star of Jura fishing boat which illegally fished in Manx waters December 2022

Clare Barber MHK Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:

‘The hefty fine sends a clear message and shows collaborative work with partner agencies are robust.

‘DEFA is committed to ensuring the long-term viability of our fishing industry and the sustainability of stocks, like scallops – and is determined that anyone flouting the rules will be brought to justice.’

Prosecutor Rachel Cubbon told the court the Star of Jura entered Manx waters twice in the early hours on Saturday 3 December, which was confirmed when DEFA and Marine Scotland examined the boat’s on-board monitoring and tracking systems.

Further investigation of the Master’s daybook and electronic logbook revealed 12 bags of King Scallops had been landed in Manx waters, which was not declared.

The court heard the skipper had logged all other activity within UK waters on the same trip, which the court accepted was an attempt to disguise its illegal venture into Manx waters.

Defence advocate Jim Travers told the court his client was unaware of their Master’s activities and called it a ‘one-off rogue event’.

The firm said the Master has been dismissed.

The Oban based company was ordered to pay Marine Scotland £4,474.53 in costs and DEFA £8,948.43 as compensation for the value of the catch.

The Isle of Man’s king scallop fishery, which opens next week, is rated among the most sustainably managed in the British Isles by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

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