On 7 July 2016 Mr Andrew de la Haye, of Jersey, entered guilty pleas to charges contrary to the Registration of Fish Buyers and Sellers and Designation of Fish Auction Sites Regulations 2005 (“the RBS regulation”) and the Fisheries Act 1981.
The court heard how Mr de la Haye, between January and May 2014, had purchased and transported catches of whelks. Mr de la Hay was the director of a company named Ocean Royale Limited which had been dissolved in the preceding year. All of these purchases were, therefore, made by an unregistered business.
For each of 28 occasions whelks were purchased and no sales note was submitted to the MMO in accordance with regulations governing the purchase of first sale fish. The total quantity of whelks involved was valued at £64,136.40
Additionally, on each of these 28 occasions, and a further 26 times (56 in total), the whelks were transported from the place of landing without a transport document being submitted to the MMO. The total quantity of whelks was valued at £106,020.60.
Mr de la Haye pleaded guilty to an offence contrary to regulation 8 of the RBS regulation and an offence contrary to s.30(1) of the Fisheries Act 1981 as read with article 68 of Council Regulation (EC) 1224/2009.
The court gave Mr de la Haye credit for an early guilty plea and ordered him to pay fines to a total of £860.00, together with a contribution towards the costs of prosecution of £500 and a £53 victim surcharge; a total of £1,413.00.
Commenting on the case Phil Haslam (MMO Director of Operations) said:
“This case sends out a clear message that the MMO will prosecute parties for failure to submit the required paperwork, whether that be sales notes or transport documents. This documentation is important as it tracks the source of fish caught and allows us to gain an accurate picture of fish stocks, on which to base fisheries management decisions.
The MMO are currently carrying out a campaign to encourage adherence to the registered buyers and sellers regulations and more information on our “Looks Fishy campaign” is available on our website. Any member of the public who suspects illegal fisheries activity should report their suspicions (anonymously) to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111”