The latest prosecution for breaching fishing regulations demonstrates the Island’s determination to ensure stocks are safeguarded for the future.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, was speaking after a local fishing vessel owner who breached a curfew was heavily fined by a court.
Melvyn Reid was caught fishing for king scallops south west of Douglas on his vessel Our Sarah Jane at 5.38am on 8 November 2017.
Measures to ensure king scallops stocks are sustained mean fishing can’t commence until 6am.
Mr Reid’s vessel was detained to port and, when interviewed, he confirmed to fisheries officers that he had been fishing for scallops.
Mr Reid, of Queen’s Valley, Ramsey, appeared before magistrates on Thursday and admitted breaching fishing regulations.
The court fined him £5,000 and instructed him to pay £210.78 in costs.
In sentencing, the court acknowledged that Mr Reid had admitted the offence and submitted an early guilty plea and that throughout the investigation he had been cooperative.
Minister Boot said:
‘A curfew, restricting fishing time, is one of a number of measures in place to ensure the long-term sustainability of king scallops, which are worth £12 million to our economy.
‘We will continue to police our seas and prosecute those who disregard the law.’
At the time of the offence Mr Reid was a member of the Scallop Management Board, which advises the Isle of Man Government on measures to protect the fishery, but he has now resigned his position.