Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Irish skipper fined for illegal fishing in 'The Targets'

Golden Fleece Image copyright Isle of Man government
Image caption The skipper of the Irish-registered Golden Fleece was fined £5,000 for fishing in a closed area, known locally as 'The Targets'

An Irish skipper caught fishing for king scallops in a closed area off the Manx coast has been fined £5,000, the government has confirmed.

Ryan Newell, of County Down, and the crew of the Irish-registered Golden Fleece were caught fishing illegally off the north west coast on Sunday.

Mr Newell admitted the offence at Douglas Court House on Tuesday.

He was fined £5,000 and ordered to forfeit his catch of 33 bags of scallops, worth £2,163.

The government said the boat was detained by its fisheries protection vessel, Barrule.

Image copyright Isle of Man government
Image caption Isle of Man territorial water are regularly patrolled by the government's protection vessel Barrule

Environment minister Richard Ronan said protecting local fishing stocks was a "priority".

The king scallop fishing season runs from 1 November until 31 May.

Mr Ronan said: "The sea fishing industry is worth £13 million to the Island's economy and it is carefully managed to ensure it isn't overfished.

"I hope this latest prosecution sends out the message that we will continue to take a robust approach to anyone breaching regulations."

Last month, two British men were fined for illegal whelk fishing without a licence in Manx waters.

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