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Monday, 11 August 2014

Breton trawler from Le Guilvenec fined £25,000 for undersize mesh!

The master and owner of a French fishing boat stopped and searched by a Royal Navy fisheries protection vessel have been hit with a £25,000 penalty by Bodmin Magistrates.



Fishing boat L’Alphaver was fishing in the Celtic Sea off Cornwall when it was stopped by the fisheries protection vessel HMS Severn in June. Officers found that the boat’s two nets had been tampered with to make the mesh smaller. The vessel, which fishes out of Guilvenec in north west France, and its crew were escorted to Newlyn and the master and owner were charged with two counts of fishing illegally.



The case was originally scheduled to be heard on July 2 at Truro Magistrates but was adjourned for four weeks with the owner paying a £75,000 bond to allow her back to sea. When the case was heard the master, Fabrice Pellae of Plozevet, France, was ordered to pay £500 plus a victim surcharge of £50 and the owner, Clement Cochou of Plonéour-Lanvern, France, was ordered to pay £1,000 plus a victim surcharge of £100, plus costs of £4059.50. But the court also ordered the value of the catch L’Alphaver had in her hold at the time she was seized be forfeited – set at an estimated £20,000. The fines will be taken from the £75,000 bond.

A spokesperson for the Maritime Marine Organisation, which brought the prosecution, said: “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.”

Full story courtesy of the Cornishman here