Following a conviction at Tralee Circuit Court, on Tuesday 1st April, the Master of an Irish registered fishing vessel was fined a total of €5,000 and forfeited a further €12,994 to cover the value of his catch and fishing gear. The Master of the fishing vessel pleaded guilty to logbook infringements which included the under-recording of hake in the vessel’s EU logbook. The case arose during the course of a routine inspection of the vessel on the 23rd May 2012, at Dingle Harbour, Co Kerry, by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers of the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA).
Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers inspected the vessel’s onboard catch and when compared to its fishing logbook they discovered 355 boxes of hake retained onboard of which 262 boxes or 8,828kg were unrecorded. The under-recording of catch is contrary to European Commission Regulations and under EC Regulation, fishermen are required to keep an accurate record in the vessel’s logbook of the fish they have onboard so that fisheries scientists can make accurate estimates of the state of the fish stocks and to ensure that the catch limits imposed to protect these fish stocks are respected.
Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA welcomed the outcome of the case and said: “It is essential that all fishermen play their part in the rebuilding of fish stocks such as hake if fishing is to be sustainable and profitable into the future. The requirement for fishermen to accurately record their catches and to keep within quota limits is a cornerstone of measures to rebuild fish stocks and to share the burden of this stock recovery fairly among fishermen. The SFPA’s inspection programme is intended to detect illegally caught fish and to protect the livelihoods of the many fishermen who respect the rules in place that safeguard the sustainable exploitation of valuable fish stocks. Stock recovery is good news for fishermen and ultimately leads to better fishing possibilities for the sector as well as improved market supply for consumers.”
For further press information, please contact Eleanor Buckley, Communications Manager, Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority on 023 88593 46/ 087 920 3658 or email email@example.com.