Commercial fishing and fisheries – news story

Skipper fined for fisheries offences

A fishing vessel skipper was ordered to pay fines and costs for fisheries offences relating to the use of an illegal net and obstruction.

A fishing vessel skipper was ordered to pay £11,565 in fines and costs by Dover Magistrates’ Court on 19 June 2014 for fisheries offences relating to the use of an illegal net in May 2013 and obstructing an investigation in July 2013.

The Simon Isaac (RX43) skippered by Brian Foad, was inspected by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) at Whitstable harbour on 1 May 2013 where it was found that his net did not have the required square mesh panel or headline panel and there was a deficiency with the extension piece.

The obstruction offence took place at Whitstable harbour on 4 July 2013 when Mr Foad prevented MMO marine officers from accessing the vessel to complete an inspection.

Mr Foad initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, but on the day of trial entered guilty pleas for the offences relating to the net but maintained his not guilty plea to the obstruction charge. He was found guilty of all charges and the court commented that the obstruction was “wilful” and Mr Foad’s evidence was “not credible.”

He was ordered to pay fines of £5,000 and legal and investigation costs of £6,565.