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Boat owner calls for action against vessels from abroad after incident; MARITIME.

Byline: JOHN ROSS

A fishing boat owner has called for action against foreign vessels involved in alleged "dangerous" incidents with Scottish trawlers.

The most recent incident involved the Spanishowned, German-registered Pesorsa Dos and Shetland trawler Alison Kay.

The alleged incident happened earlier this month 30 nautical miles off Shetland and, according to Scottish fishermen, is the latest in a series of issues.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said it was unable to take action as it occurred outside its 12 miles jurisdiction, but has raised concerns with authorities in Germany.

Peter Sinclair, co-owner of the Reaper, has taken up the case as he fears for the safety of his crew and wants the Pesorsa Dos banned from Scottish waters.

He had called for Scrabster Harbour Trust, his local port, to refuse entry to any vessel owned by the Pesorsa Dos. However the trust said it has a legal duty to provide an open port to vessels and that it is up to the appropriate authorities to investigate the incident and take any action.

He is now contacting MPs and MSPs to seek action, and said: "If there are no repercussions it is going to continue and it will be tougher and tougher.

"That particular boat should be banned from Scottish waters for either a certain amount of time or banned indefinitely."

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael raised the recent incident with the MCA, saying the alleged action of the Pesorsa Dos was "extremely dangerous and in contravention of the basic rules of the sea".

He said many local whitefish boats have reported that they have been at the receiving end of separate attempts to drive them out of their traditional fishing ground.

The issue has also been raised by the Scottish White Fish Producers' Association (SWFPA) and the Shetland Fishermen's Association (SFA). They said it is the latest in a series of incidents dating back many years involving gill-netters which "pose serious risks" to vessels and crew operating in the Atlantic and North Sea.

It called on the MCA to take action "before a fatality occurred".

A MCA spokesman said a video of the recent incident is "concerning" and the consequences could have been extremely serious.

He added: "The maritime investigations team has already sent a letter to the German Maritime Administration."

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Author:JOHN ROSS
Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 29, 2020
Words:383
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