Fishermen’s catch seized as marine officers swoop
FISHERMEN accused of using ‘dangerous’ methods to catch shellfish in illegal waters off the coast of Argyll, may have a legal battle on their hands with enforcement officers.
A vessel was intercepted on September 10 by Marine Scotland officers in the Sound of Jura, where collecting or harvesting shellfish is illegal.
The intelligence-led operation, in partnership with Argyll and Bute council, led to the seizure of a significant quantity of razor clams.
Because the waters are not currently classified, the shellfish seized in the incident may be poisonous.
Holyrood Fisheries secretary, MSP Richard Lochhead, confirmed the fishermen were suspected of using dangerous ‘electro-fishing’ techniques, which involves stunning clams with electricity and lifting them from the seabed.
Police Scotland had previously estimated that clams worth tens of thousands of pounds were being illegally fished from Argyll, although this claim was contested by the shellfish industry.