Boot hopes fisherman fine sends warning to others

The Minister in charge of the Island's fisheries says the skipper of a trawler from Northern Ireland who fished illegally in Manx waters showed blatant disregard for the Island's conservation measures.

Christopher Heslip from Kilkeel was caught trawling for queen scallops during curfew periods and exceeding catch limits, resulting in a £26,000 fine.

Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Geoffrey Boot hopes this prosecution will send a message to other fishermen.

Mr Boot says the queen scallop fishery supports hundreds of jobs and is worth millions to the Manx economy, so his Department will not hesitate to prosecute those caught breaking the rules.

Those caught fishing illegally in Manx waters face a fine of up to £50,000, and can also lose their catch, have their licence suspended and their vessel seized.