A fishing vessel master and owner were ordered to pay a total of over £25,000 by Bodmin Magistrates Court on 31 July 2014 in relation to illegal devices attached to their fishing nets namely strengthening bags.
The vessel, L’Alphaver, which fishes out of Guilvenec in north west France, was inspected at sea on Monday 30 June by HMS Severn, a Royal Navy fisheries protection vessel. It had been fishing in what is referred to as the Celtic Sea, North West of Cornwall.
Two offences were identified during the inspection and the vessel was detained to Newlyn for further investigation. It was found that the nets which had been used did not comply with requirements, in that the strengthening bags attached to the nets obstructed or otherwise effectively diminished the meshes in the cod end.
The case was originally scheduled to be heard on 2 July at Truro Magistrates, however adjourned until 31 July. A bond of £75,000 was arranged which allowed the vessel to return to sea in the meantime.
The master, Fabrice Pellae of Plozevet, France, was ordered to pay £500 plus a victim surcharge of £50. The owner, Clement Cochou of Plonéour-Lanvern, France, was ordered to pay £1000 plus a victim surcharge of £100. In addition the court ordered an additional penalty to the value of the catch of £20,000 plus costs of £4059.50. The fines will be taken from the £75,000 bond.
The MMO is committed to protecting fish stocks and quota for law-abiding fishermen who rely on these species to sustain their livelihoods. It recognises the majority of the fishing industry is compliant with the rules that govern its commercial activities, and will ensure that those who aren’t do not enjoy unfair financial advantage from illegal activity.