Public Right To Report Suspicious Fishing Boats Says Scilly’s Maritime Officer

Steve Watt, Scilly's Maritime Officer

Steve Watt, Scilly’s Maritime Officer

Scilly’s Maritime Officer, Steve Watt, says islanders who raised concerns over a foreign fishing vessel in Scilly’s waters at the weekend did the right thing.

Locals thought the 25 metre French boat was catching fish illegally off St Martin’s.

Steve says it wasn’t. It was sheltering from the strong winds and big seas, but he’s pleased people are keeping watch for illegal activity.

But he says even if it had been fishing, there’s little that Scilly’s Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority can do locally, other than pulling up alongside the vessel and warning them.

They can also contact the Marine Management Organisation in Newcastle, who can dispatch a plane to make aerial checks if they choose to investigate islanders’ concerns.

A boat has been caught previously, and prosecuted, for fishing a mile off Round Island after their spotter plane caught the fishermen red handed.



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