Scottish scalloper fined over £200,000 for multiple breaches of dredging regulations off Robin Hood's Bay

The owner and master of a scallop vessel have to pay over £200,000 after pleading guilty to multiple breaches of dredging regulations off the Yorkshire coast.

Star of Annan OB 50

Company owner of the Star of Annan OB 50, John MacAlister (Oban) Ltd, of South Pier, Oban and master of the vessel, Alec Murray, of Upper Bayble, Isle of Lewis, both appeared at Scarborough Magistrates on Tuesday April 6 for sentencing, having admitted the offences at a previous hearing.

The court heard the 10 offences, which took place between March 4 2019 and May 28 2019 off Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire included operating in a closed season, using scallop dredges, failing to operate a fully functioning vessel identification system as well as landing undersized scallops.

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The company owner was fined £180,000, and has to pay £7,000 costs and £170 victim surcharge while Murray was fined £2,908, has to pay costs of £555 and a victim surcharge of £170.

MacAlister also appeared as a director to represent Q Varl Fishing Co Ltd, The Terrace, Torquay, which was fined £15,000 and has to pay costs of £2,140 and a £170 victim surcharge relating to two similar offences which were committed by the fishing vessel Q Varl BM 29 between May 27 and June 4 2019.

The prosecution was brought by the North East Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NEIFCA).

Chief officer David McCandless said: “We have worked incredibly hard to manage and police the scallop fishery in the North East to ensure its sustainability, protect co-located static gear fisheries and to minimise impacts on the marine environment.

“These prosecutions should send a very clear message that the courts take marine conservation and the sustainable harvesting of shellfish very seriously and the outcome is a recognition of the important work that inshore fisheries and conservation authorities do.”

Mr McCandless thanked the Northumberland IFCA for its help gathering evidence.