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Limits warning issued after ormer fishermen are fined

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FISHERMEN are being warned to respect ormer catch limits – after two people were fined for breaching restrictions on landing the prized shellfish.

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Fishing for ormers may only take place from 1 October to 30 April. During that period, fishing can only take place on the first day of each new or full moon and the three following days – during what are known as ‘ormering tides’. Fisherman are restricted to landing 20 ormers each.

Last week two men, aged 28 and 30, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court and were fined £100 and £200 respectively for breaching the bag limits during the ormering season. The offences were committed at the Minquiers reef, about nine miles south of Jersey.

Following the sentencing, David Yettram, senior marine and fisheries officer, said that Islanders largely abide by the regulations, but called for everyone to respect the laws.

‘The rules are basically in place to conserve the stocks so they are available.

‘There didn’t used to be a bag limit so there were issues, so now there is a limit the problems don’t come as often,’ he said.

‘There has been a little rise recently but it could be down to the good weather.

‘Most people we go around and inspect are bang on with their limits and then they stop.

‘I hope the fines act as a warning to others, and we are able to raise awareness of these issues and why there are rules in place,’ he added.

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Under the regulations, if a full moon falls, for example, on 29 April, fishing still cannot take place after 30 April. The minimum legal size for an ormer is 9cm measured across the broadest part of the shell.

Mr Yettram added that the department had worked hard to educate people over the years in an effort to help preserve ormer stocks.

‘We go and hand out leaflets to people before they fish, and they do abide by the rules. These cases recently are now the exception,’ he added.

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