On 29 August 2017 the Plymouth Magistrates’ Court sentenced Mr Robert Manning a self-employed fish merchant in a prosecution brought by the MMO.
The court heard how Mr Manning, a registered buyer of first sale fish had failed to submit sales notes to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) within the 48 hour period required by EU Regulations.
Investigations by MMO Officers revealed a total of 270 sales notes, detailing purchases that Mr Manning had made between 1 January 2014 and 30 June 2016 from four vessels were not provided to the MMO. The transactions amounted to a total of 57,562kg, of scallops valued at £127,934.60.
Mr Manning entered a guilty plea to the charge and after hearing mitigation on his behalf the court ordered him to pay a fine of £1,882, the costs of bringing the prosecution of £6,937.70 and a victim surcharge of £170.
A spokesman for the MMO said:
“The requirement to submit sales notes within 48 hours enables the MMO to gain an accurate picture of fish stocks on which to base its fisheries management decisions. When (as in this case) sales notes are not submitted that picture becomes partial, distorted or inaccurate. This prosecution shows that the MMO will take the appropriate enforcement action to prevent such a situation occurring.”