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Illegal fishing will result in prosecution, DEFA reminds skippers

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The prosecution of a vessel skipper for fishing in a closed area serves as a further warning that breaches of regulations will not be tolerated.

That is the message from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture after Shane Byrne was fined by magistrates on Tuesday.

The Manx-registered Frey, with Mr Byrne at the helm, was caught fishing for king scallops in a closed area off Douglas on Saturday 20 May 2017.

Closures allow fish stocks to recover, important for the long-term sustainability of the fishing industry.

Illegal fishing will result in prosecution, DEFA reminds skippers

Mr Byrne, of Close Thunnag, Lezayre Estate, Ramsey, admitted the offence and others including failing to submit an e-log, failing to transmit his location via an Automatic Identification System and having nets below the minimum mesh size.

He was fined £6,000 with £125 costs and barred from holding a sea fishing licence for a year.

He told the court he didn’t properly understand the regulations.

Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:

‘Regulations governing fisheries exist to ensure this valuable industry has a long term future.

‘We won’t hesitate to apprehend and prosecute skippers of vessels found breaching them, which can lead to heavy fines, forfeiture of catches and loss of licences.’

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