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Peel fisherman pleads guilty to retaining undersize scallops 21 February 2013

On 15th of February, Robert Parton, skipper of the Peel based fishing vessel, Benolas PL11 appeared before the Deputy High Bailiff, Mrs Jayne Hughes, in court in Douglas, Isle of Man. Mr Parton pleaded guilty to the offence of retaining scallops below the permitted size and was fined £3,000 with £125 costs.

Fisheries Officers from DEFA’s Fisheries Protection Vessel Barrule boarded the vessel on 14th February, some 2.9 nautical miles NNE of Maughold Head. An inspection of the vessels’ catch revealed a quantity of scallops below the legal minimum size of 110mm. The vessel was escorted to Douglas harbour where it was detained.

The Deputy High Bailiff, Mrs Hughes, commented: “I have taken into consideration that you made an early plea and the fact that you co-operated fully with the officers. However, the legislation is there to protect the scallop stocks and if everyone did this then there would be nothing left at all”.

Mrs Kate Beecroft MHK, Member for Fisheries commented on the case: “the Department is committed to the development of the Manx scallop fishing industry. This detention and subsequent conviction gives a clear message to other skippers operating within Manx Territorial Waters that they must all abide by the bye-laws, to maintain a fishery that will be viable and sustainable for all.”

DEFA Minister, Phil Gawne MHK added: “catch rates are higher in Manx waters than elsewhere in the Irish Sea and I believe that this is the result of the effective enforcement of the

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