Brixham skipper conviction 'will publicise Guernsey fishery law'

Brixham registered beam trawler in St Peter Port Harbour
Image caption The trawler was escorted to St Peter Port Harbour after being impounded

The conviction of a trawlerman illegally fishing within Guernsey's 12-mile limit will act as a warning to others, according to the States.

Jason Moriarty, chief officer of commerce and employment, said it would help the industry realise that Guernsey's fishery laws had changed.

The skipper of a Devon-based trawler has been fined £6,000.

The new law requiring a licence to fish within 12 miles of Guernsey's waters came into effect on 1 February.

Judge Philip Robey took this into account when sentencing, but warned harsher penalties would be given out for similar offences in future.

Legislation upheld

Mr Moriarty said: "It raises awareness of the legislation and fisheries within that 12-mile limit.

"Sea fisheries through commerce and employment have undertaken press releases through trade press and that process will continue.

"It is not about success it is just to show that the new legislation to protect the 12-mile limit is being upheld."

The Becky Lou was impounded by the Sea Fisheries vessel the Leopardess off the south coast of the island on Monday.

Brixham skipper Anthony Shine pleaded guilty when he appeared in the island's magistrate's court.

When sentenced he was given the choice of three months in prison or paying the fine.

Advocate David Domaille, the defence counsel, told the court the new licensing law was not well known among UK fishermen.

He said six other Brixham-based fishing companies he approached were unaware of the need for a licence to fish in Guernsey waters.

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