Wilhelmina LT60 is a British registered 35 metre fishing vessel operated by a Dutch company and master, which primarily targets plaice and Dover sole in the North Sea. The court heard that enforcement checks of the vessel’s statutory documentation showed that it had exceeded the permitted 10% margin of tolerance in its fishing logbook on 41 occasions. Six charges were brought before the court and the defendants asked for the other 35 offences to be taken into consideration.
The vessel owner Wilhelmina Beheer B.V. and skipper Jelle Toering both pleaded guilty to all charges and offences.
Wilhelmina Beheer B.V. was fined £3,000 for each offence (£18,000 in total), £2,000 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170. Jelle Toering was fined £1,295 for each offence, (£7,770 in total), £500 in costs and a victim surcharge of £170.
A spokesperson for the MMO said:
The outcome of this enforcement action shows that non-compliance with the requirement to submit an accurate electronic logbook will be detected and dealt with appropriately, with the offending company facing fines in appropriate circumstances.
In cases like this the MMO will always take proportionate and appropriate action, including prosecution, to ensure offenders do not benefit from illegal activity and to protect fish stocks for the wider fishing industry and future generations.