People using pots to fish recreationally for crabs and lobsters are reminded they must have a license after an increase in the number of unmarked pots being seized.
This year 10 unlicensed pots have been retrieved by fisheries’ enforcement officers from areas including Douglas Harbour, Langness and Pooil Vaaish. All hobby pots used in Manx waters must be attached to a float or marker and labelled with the owner’s license number.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘Anyone wishing to fish recreationally using pots must apply for a licence, which has a number of conditions attached. Our sea fisheries’ unit monitors this activity closely and anyone caught without a license could face a maximum fine £2000.’
So far this year the Isle of Man Government has processed 185 recreational potting licences - but this is under review as part of the ongoing consultation around the industry.
The license, which costs £30 per year, allows the use of up to five pots by an individual - for non-commercial fishing in Manx territorial waters.
Recreational potters cannot sell their catch and must follow Government guidelines, which set out daily catch limits and measures to protect young stock, including the need for each pot to have escape gaps for undersize crabs and lobsters.
The license allows an individual to land five crabs and two lobsters a day - with a maximum of seven lobsters a week.
Minister Boot, added:
‘Hobby potting is a pleasurable experience with many benefits -it allows locals to enjoy the outdoors, parents to teach their children about the marine environment and provides fresh local produce for the table.’
Anyone who has concerns about unlicensed or washed up pots is asked to contact the Fisheries Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on +44 01624 685837