Fisherman fined £26,000 for breaching rules of licence

A fisherman from Northern Ireland has been fined £26,000 for breaching the rules of his trawling licence while in Manx waters.

Christopher Heslip of Mountain Road in Kilkeel admitted exceeding queen scallop catch limits and fishing during curfew periods during an appearance before the Deputy High Bailiff.

The offences were recorded by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture's electronic vessel monitoring data during August and September.

Further investigation confirmed he had breached the rules of his licence, although the fisherman blamed a faulty plotter on his vessel leading him to believe he was outside the Island's 12-mile limit.

Heslip forfeits his catch, worth around £13,000, and will pay £50 court costs, but is allowed to keep his licence due to his early guilty plea and co-operation.