Premises Checked For Unlawful Fish Sales

Officials from the Marine Management Organisation will today continue checking whether food premises have completed the paperwork for purchasing fish.

Visiting staff boarded boats in St Mary’s harbour yesterday and they inspected food premises on all of the islands. It’s part of a clampdown on chefs who buy fish from hobbyists.

IFCA Officer Steve Watt says the MMO staff will return twice this summer.

Their action follows a meeting between two professional fisherman and four hobby fishermen in The Mermaid on Monday. The professionals have been concerned that amateurs may have sold their fish for profit.

In Cornwall, shellfish catch has been limited to two per day. Steve Watt says the meeting, which was cordial, stopped short of setting a catch quota like the mainland and instead backed a voluntary code.

All hobbyists will tag their pots and nobody will have more than 10 pots per boat.

The meeting heard some concerns that most pots are now the double-entry parlour pots, which crustaceans can’t escape from and those tend to increase the yield.

Steve Watt explained that the voluntary code would have to be self-policing as the IFCA hasn’t applied to put a by-law in place.