Hope's Nose becoming 'hotspot' for mackerel fishing on industrial scale

The gangs are said to be catching huge quantities of mackerel. Credit: Marine Conservation Society

Miscreant mackerel fishers were slapped with ten £100 fixed penalty notices at Hope’s Nose in Torquay this summer.

Among the charges dished out was one for catching too many fish at the beauty spot, which has become a hotspot for "industrial" fishing.

Nearby residents have complained about anti-social behaviour at Hope’s Nose and at Berry Head in Brixham, where large groups of people gather to fish.

Rubbish has been left behind and anglers say they have been threatened by gangs who are said to be catching huge quantities of mackerel to take away and sell commercially.

Torbay Council responded to the concerns by introducing Public Space Protection Orders at both locations, meaning people breaching the rules can receive fixed penalty notices and fines.

During a recent full council meeting, Cllr Christine Carter (Lib Dem, Roundham with Hyde) said a recent freedom of information request revealed that during July, three fines had been handed out at Hope’s Nose for erecting tents, four for lighting fires, two for camping and one for catching too many fish.

However, no such notices were issued over the same period at Berry Head.

Cllr Carter asked: “Is this due to a lack of visits by an enforcement officer or has the anti-social behaviour reduced at this location?”

The question was answered by Cllr Hayley Tranter (Con, Goodrington with Roselands) who is the cabinet member responsible. 

She replied: “The same number of visits were conducted at Berry Head as they were at Hope’s Nose. The experience was simply that when officers were present at Berry Head there were not any offences witnessed.

“Much of the 'enforcement' was done by deterrent, engaging people before potential offences are committed and making the presence of enforcement personnel known.”

She added it had not been a very good season for mackerel and the weather had also acted as a deterrent.

Credit: Guy Henderson, Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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