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Illegal scallop dredging in Wester Ross Marine Protected Area lands fisherman fine

By Ali Morrison

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Sheriff Gary Aitken heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.
Sheriff Gary Aitken heard the case at Inverness Sheriff Court.

A FISHERMAN who illegally dredged for scallops in Wester Ross pulled up a haul that was worth £1924.

But he found himself in deep water because he had been operating in part of the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area at the time.

When he appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court, the Orkney fisherman pulled in a £2075 fine.


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Owen Anderson from Burray, who operates the Vervine with three other families, appeared before Sheriff Gary Aitken and admitted the offence, committed in the Wester Ross Marine Protected Area off the Summer Isles on June 25, 2022.

The court heard that his haul of 796kgs of king scallops earned the vessel £1924.

Defending, Gerry Sweeney told the court that it was not "a contrived breach of the legislation.

"He was operating on out-dated information of 2004 when this area was protected in 2014.

"But it was his responsibility to ensure he was not fishing in waters he should not have been and that he was operating within the up to date legislation."

Fiscal depute Robert Weir told the sheriff: "His boat had a monitoring device fitted so it was relatively easy to find out where he had been fishing.

"His vessel was also seen from the mainland from a vehicle which was also policing fishing activities in that area.

"He co-operated fully with the authorities." Mr Weir went on.

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