Following the recent decision to lift the requirement for licenced vessels to report for a daily catch inspection, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture has now officially published its agreed policy on licence suspension and confirms that it will actively pursue anyone who breaches fisheries legislation in Isle of Man waters.
The new policy can be seen on the Department website.
The Department has written to the owners of every licensed vessel to remind them that they are at risk of having their licence suspended if there are reasonable grounds to suspect there is cheating by under-declaring the catch or any other breaches of legislation.
A specialist team at DEFA has been established to closely monitor all vessels’ activity on a daily basis and a risk based system is being developed to ensure that any potentially serious discrepancies are swiftly identified.
To assist skippers and owners to comply accurately with reporting requirements, the Department is compiling a guidance document which will be available online.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
'The Isle of Man Government has worked hard to develop this rigorous enforcement regime. Our valuable fisheries will continue to be carefully policed, as we are determined to protect our stocks.
'We have already contacted the owners of a number of vessels to advise them that we have spotted anomalies in their reporting and remind them they are at risk of licence suspension should this continue.'