New limit targets unlicensed shellfish sellers

Catch limits are to be enforced for key shellfish species to prevent and deter unlicensed fishermen from selling their catch illegally, the Scottish Government said.

Members of the public do not need a license to catch small amounts of seafood for their own consumption — but they are not allowed to sell anything they catch for profit.

The Scottish Government said there are “particular hotspots of unlicensed commercial fishing activity” around the Scottish coast and during spring and summer months.

“We have heard from the industry about the detrimental impact that unlicensed fishing is having on our fishermen,” said fisheries secretary Richard Lochhead.

“This is why we must introduce catch limits to prevent others from selling their catch illegally.

“These measures will help clarify the situation for fishermen.

“We want to make sure that those who operate unlicensed fishing vessels and who chose to sell their catches are aware of the need to have a licence and the consequences of not having one.

“I intend to review the measures to monitor their effectiveness and look to introducing further measures if necessary.”

The Scottish Government also said it will continue to target unlicensed commercial fishermen at sea and work with buyers of the catch to ensure they comply with regulations to prevent unlicensed commercial fishing.

“Marine Scotland will continue to target unlicensed fishermen selling their catch illegally,” said the Scottish Government.

“Marine Scotland Compliance has a recognised presence in all Scottish inshore waters with regular use of rigid inflatable boats.

“Inshore patrols now ensure that sea going officers are in closer contact with Scotland’s inshore fishermen and are policing vessels that fish unlicensed or indeed are operated by hobby fishermen.”

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.