Friday, 21 January 2022

Newlyn netter Govenek of Ladram detained in Castletownbeare.


Around midnight on Wednesday the EFCA Fishery Protection Vessel Aegis... 



detained the British registered Newlyn based gillnetter in the Celtic Sea for an alleged fishing offence ...



and is escorted her into Castletownbere...


the Vigo based EU fisheries protection vessel makes weekly round trip to Cork to pick up the EU fisheries observers...


the Aegis was on patrol south east of Baltimore when she headed southwest and then west towards the Govenek of Ladram...


who was fishing for hake west side of the Pistola Bank. 

A statement from the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority said:

"The officers on board the European Fisheries Control Agency’s (EFCA) chartered vessel, AEGIS 1, in the Celtic Sea are part of EFCA’s joint deployment plan for Western waters. The AEGIS 1 escorted the fishing vessel into Castletownbere, at the SFPA’s request, where it is being detained for the suspected infringement of fishing gear regulations. EFCA organises joint fisheries control and inspection activities under joint deployment plans with national sea-fishing regulatory authorities, including the SFPA." 


The detention occurred after a 'routine' inspection when the observers were unhappy with the number of dolphin 'pingers' employed by the Govenek.  Skipper Phil Mitchell said later that he was using the latest in dolphin pingers which have a range of 2.5km and are twice as powerful as the original version and EU regulation approved. Pingers were deployed at the end of each tier of nets as per normal when fishing for hake but this did not satisfy the SFPA inspectors and the Govenek was escorted in to port to await a judgment - with skipper Phil facing impounding the vessel, confiscation of his catch and a maximum of ten years in jail - not a comforting thought for any skipper. 



Eventually, the boat was released without charge this afternoon and headed back to the grounds, not that will make up for two days lost fishing!