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French scallop dredger detained

20 February 2008

Officers from the Fisheries Protection vessel the 'Norman Le Brocq' detained a 15 metre long French trawler yesterday afternoon and escorted it to St Helier where the skipper was interviewed and the catch sorted and weighed.

The two offences being investigated are 'exceeding 5% by-catch of species other than scallops when using dredges' (the vessel had 2000kg of fish and shellfish onboard) and 'failure to correctly complete an EU logbook'.

The excess catch was returned to the sea by Fishery Officers and and the vessel allowed to leave at 2100 hours, the skipper having been warned to attend a Town Hall enquiry on 17th March.

The Senior Fisheries Inspector, Mike Smith, said, “We conduct enforcement work at sea on between 100 and 120 days per annum. This patrol was routine and prior to the boarding we had boarded 5 other French boats. Some 80 to 100 French vessels fish quite legitimately on a regular basis in the Jersey territorial sea. This vessel was fishing some 9 miles to the west of Jersey.”

Currently significant numbers of French scallop dredgers are operating in areas to the east and north west of Les Minquiers and to the west of Jersey. 11 similar vessels were operating yesterday to the west of Jersey. These vessels are monitored to ensure that they do not operate in the 3 - 6 mile belt to the south west of Jersey where no French trawlers can fish. Monitoring also takes place to ensure that only the correct number of vessels on an authorized daily list operate in the 3 - 6 mile belt to the north west of the Island.

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