Restaurants on look out after Skye scallop theft

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KEITH MACKENZIE

An unusual north Skye seafood theft has sparked a police appeal.

At some time between 14th and 16th April, around £900 worth of scallops were taken from nets within Uiginish Bay on Loch Dunvegan.

Divers had been in the area collecting scallops for Atlantic Diving Services, and the bags were stored on the sea bed supported by floats and marked by a buoy.

The company’s owner, Andrew Holbrow, said the culprits could only have accessed the scallops by boat. He said: “In all they took about 10 bags, but they left some to keep the nets weighted down and make it look as if nothing had happened. It had to have been done by boat. And there was probably about 200kg taken, so it’s unlikely to have been a dinghy.

“I know this sort of thing has happened to other boats occasionally, but we have been going since 1991 and it has never happened to us.”

Mr Holbrow added: “There’s a possibility some local restaurants may have been offered scallops from an unregistered buyer, and if they have it might give some clue as to who did this.”

Dunvegan police constable David Canning (pictured above) said: “This is a crime that would have required unique knowledge of processes used in gathering scallops. The perpetrator has carefully weighted the nets back in position in order not to arouse suspicion. We are also keen to hear from any persons or businesses who have may been offered cut-price scallops in suspicious circumstances.”

Anyone who may have witnessed any unusual activity, unfamiliar boats or persons in that area should contact police on 101.