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Fishing Vessel Master Convicted and Fined for Under-Recording of Catches of Monkfish

Fishing Vessel Master Convicted and Fined for Under-Recording of Catches of Monkfish

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has confirmed the conclusion of a case brought against the Master of a fishing vessel for breaches of sea-fisheries laws. James Devlin, of Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, pleaded guilty at Wexford Circuit Court to the under-recording of Monkfish – this was detected during a joint Naval Service and SFPA inspection in November 2021.The over-recording of catches of Megrim was also detected.

The mis-recording of catches was detected during an at-sea inspection by the Naval Service officers attached to the L.É. William Butler Yeats, conducting a check of the catch onboard the vessel Jimmy. Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers of the SFPA conducted a check of the catch on landing which disclosed the under-recording of Monkfish by 62 boxes (2,056 kgs) and the over-recording of Megrim by 51 boxes (or 1,454 kgs). The sentencing of the matter was heard at Wexford Circuit Court on Friday, June 30th, where the Court found the activity was “an intentional act of deception” and that the under-recording of Monkfish was by a significant quantity. The Court imposed a fine of €2,500.

An SFPA spokesperson commented:

“The SFPA notes the message this finding and penalty sends regarding the seriousness of this mis-recording of catches. The accurate recording of catches in the fishing logbook is crucial to ensure the sustainable management of fish stocks based on data obtained from fishing operations. The management of stocks, based on such data, is essential for the sustainability of the species and the fishing industry. This inspection also demonstrated the effective collaboration between the Naval Service and the SFPA in detecting offences at-sea. The SFPA commends the officers for their work on this case.”