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Scottish Trawlerman Prosecuted For Scallop Fishing Offences 10 November 2008

On Friday the 7th September the skipper of the Scottish fishing vessel Star of Annan OB 50 appeared before the High Bailiff, Mr Michael Moyle at a court in Douglas, Isle of Man.

Malcolm Mc KELVIE, skipper of the ‘Star of Annan’ had his vessel boarded some 4.3 nautical miles West North West of the Chicken Rock Lighthouse by Isle of Man Sea Fisheries Officers from the Fisheries Protection Vessel Barrule. The vessel was found to have a quantity of scallops on board with shells below the legal minimum size of 110mm. Mr Mc KELVIE of Glasgow pleaded guilty to the offence which took place on the 6th November 2008.

Having heard the facts of the case the High Bailiff noted that this was a serious offence and the level of fine should reflect this. He imposed a fine of £7,000 on Mr Mc KELVIE with £150 costs and ordered that the skipper should not fish within Manx waters for a period of 7 days. The vessel was detained until the fine was paid. All undersize scallops were returned to the sea.

Welcoming the conviction, the Hon. Phil Gawne MHK, Minister for DAFF said: ‘The Isle of Man has built an enviable reputation for sustainable management of our scallop stocks. I will not have this reputation tarnished by vessel owners wishing to make a quick buck at the expense of other, more responsible, fishermen. Those few irresponsible fishermen, who are willing to put their own, and others’ livelihoods at risk will have to learn that such behaviour will not be tolerated in the Manx Territorial Sea. This illegal action takes place at a time of unprecedented difficulty for both fishermen and processors. The considerable volume of small scallops found on board this vessel indicates the complete disregard that this skipper had for the long term welfare of the Manx fishery’

The Minister added that he wished to express his thanks to the crew of the Barrule for their diligence. He said “The Department is committed to the conservation and preservation of the Manx scallop fishing industry, this gives a clear message to other vessels operating in the fishery.”

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