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Some Charter Boats are Fishing Illegally

Nov 08,2007 SACN

SACN has heard that a number of charter boats fishing out of Weymouth have fallen foul of a byelaw designed to prevent large trawlers fishing within the 6 mile limit enforced by the Southern Sea Fisheries Committee.

Whereas other districts with similar byelaws specifically mention trawlers, the Southern SFC byelaw refers simply to 'any vessel exceeding 12 metres'.

(The full byelaw is available at:    http://www.southernsfc.org.uk/byelaws/index_files/Page821.htm )

It is believed that the skippers who are using the larger vessels for the comfort of their customers, rather than fishing-power as is the case with larger trawlers, have been warned of possible prosecution by Fisheries Officers from the Southern SFC.

Their case is being taken up by a number of people, appalled that such a byelaw originally intended for a specific conservation purpose, is being used to intimidate owners of charter boats from the Recreational Sea Angling charter fleet, were the size of the vessel has no conservation relevance. 

The Professional Boatmans Association is actively engaged in this issue.

(Further details can be found at:  http://www.fishingdartmouth.co.uk/how_fishing.htm - Entry for 8th November)


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