New Shellfish Limits On Hobby Fishermen Being Proposed

The council’s new sea fisheries committee, the IFCA, is proposing restrictions on the amount of shellfish a hobby fisherman may legally land.

The regulation is designed to protect islanders who fish for a living so they’re not competing with people selling their crab and lobster on the black market.

The plan is to issue permits with a number of tags which will have to be placed on each pot and are valid only during the year of issue.

The Isles of Scilly Maritime Officer, Steve Watt, told us that the Fishermans Association has recommended that just five pots are allowed to each hobby fisherman. Some hobby fisherman have 40 pots currently and Steve says the amount of shellfish caught with this number of pots goes beyond the limits for personal consumption and suggests some shellfish may be being sold, which is illegal.

The new rules would allow only two shellfish to be landed a day and storage will not be allowed which Steve says should preserve stocks better.

This will have to go to consultation this summer but if the by-law is introduced, the IFCA say they will have the power to seize fishing gear. It could two years before any new rules are brought in.