Guernsey ormer rules: 'Common sense' call by deputy

Ormers being gathered at Perelle in Guernsey
Image caption Ormers can only be collected on specific days between January and April - those of the full moon, new moon and two days following

A Guernsey deputy has called for "more common sense" when applying rules to protect the island's ormer stocks.

The sea snails - known as abalones elsewhere in the world - are a local delicacy and are fried or casseroled.

During the ormer season, hundreds of people harvest the molluscs at low tide, but anyone harvesting ormers smaller than 8cm (3in) could be prosecuted and fined.

Deputy Barry Paint said a warning should be issued for a first offence.

Catch 'confiscation'

He said it was a shame that a more common-sense approach was not used when applying the rules - especially for older ormer gatherers, many of whom still "worked in inches".

Deputy Paint said restrictions were important and necessary if stocks were to be increased to preserve a traditional industry in the island.

However, he said rather than face a prosecution and a criminal record, first offenders should should be given a warning and have their catch confiscated.

The collection of ormers is only allowed on specific days - those of the full moon, new moon and two days following, between January and April.

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