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- Agriculture and Fisheries Council, 22 April 2013
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Scottish vessels under legal parameter
Fishermen from Bridlington have decided to sue Scottish vessels over damage by scallop boats, confirms a report.
As per the information available the fishermen are taking legal action against Scottish vessels which they say have wrecking thousands of pounds' worth of fishing gear. It was all started when industrial-sized scalloping boats moved south to the Holderness coast, a prime shellfishing area scattered with 60,000 crab and lobster pots.
The report says that the fishermen have negotiated a 43-square-mile area for the scallopers to work in, but talks stalled when the Scottish company involved, TN Trawlers, demanded another 144-square-mile area. The Scottish vessels left, but the Bridlington fleet is still counting the cost of damage caused by the far heavier boats towing away their pots on April 18. So far around 118 pots are known to have been lost, worth around £70 each, as well as tows and anchors.
The report also states that the Bridlington shellfish fleet has now instructed the Hull-based Andrew Jackson solicitors to mount a civil claim for damages. Solicitors are busy to collect evidences in order to make the case stronger. Bridlington fishing boat owner Gary Hodgson, who co-owns a processing plant as well as being chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations Shellfish Committee, said until recently they had co-existed peacefully with the dredgers.
Skipper Gary Lee, of the Christel Star, lost 42 pots, said that it is pretty obvious that scalloping has a detrimental effect when you look at other areas they have started closing (to scalloping) like Lyme and Cardigan Bay. Solicitor Andrew Oliver, a partner at Andrew Jacksons, said that at the moment they are gathering evidence from various sources to mount a civil claim for the loss of fishing gear as a result of the actions of scallopers.
WorldFishingToday d. 29-04-2010