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Fisherman Fined for Undersized Scallops 6 December 2004

A fisherman from Northern Ireland has been fined £750 with £100 costs by the Deputy High Bailiff, Alastair Montgomerie, for having undersized scallops.

Mr Montgomerie warned that the Court had additional powers in addition to fines. Any future offence of this nature could result in confiscation of the vessel.

Mark Palmer of Portavogie had been fishing for scallops in his 9 metre vessel, the Natalie Rose, two miles off Bradda Head on Wednesday the 1st December when the vessel was boarded by DAFF Sea-Fishery Officer, Colin Eastwood.

Mr Eastwood was carrying out a routine inspection of documentation and catches. During inspection, he found that there were about 130 undersized scallops on board, which was about 20% of the catch.

The Natalie Rose was escorted into Peel and detained overnight. At the Deputy High Bailiff's Court in Douglas the following morning, Government Prosecutor, Rachael Braidwood, put the facts of the case to Mr Montgomerie.

The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Hon Bill Henderson MHK said:

"We have a dedicated Sea-Fisheries team, so people will get caught if they try to fish illegally. There should be no misunderstanding the message.

"The Court has made its views very clear and my Department will have no hesitation in bringing a prosecution for illegal fishing."

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