Unmarked buoys storm
UNMARKED pot buoys in island waters have prompted strong comment at a Scilly Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) committee meeting.
Robert Francis, chairman of the local commercial fishing association, said: "I want to make it clear that we don't want to stop hobby fishermen, but the current situation is out of control."
Some hobbyists "were not interested in co-operating" with the local voluntary-set requirements, he said.
Fisheries officer Doug Holt said he had counted 191 unmarked items of gear, with St Mary's leading the way with 87 such items and 26 off the Eastern Isles.
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Thirty buoys attached to lobster pots – unmarked – were tagged by IFCA and given a seven-day notice.
"Very few owners have complied with the request to date," said Mr Holt.
Maritime officer Steve Watt said the introduction of a bylaw – "which would take two years" – was the only way to ensure across-the-board compliance.
The message was "not getting around", said Doug Allsop.
Chairman Chris Thomas, responding to the suggestion that a meeting be held to regularise the position, said it was all a matter of attendance.
The known offenders were said to be "only the tip of the iceberg".
Nick Jenkins said the commercial fishermen had to "jump through hoops" while the activities of the hobbyist were ignored.
It was agreed notices of hobbyist requirements be widely posted around the islands, and that there would be an attempt to convene a meeting.