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Fishing Vessel Master Pleads Guilty to Bass Conservation Offences

Fishing Vessel Master Pleads Guilty to Bass Conservation Offences

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has today, Friday June 23rd, 2023, confirmed the conclusion of a case brought against the Master of a fishing vessel for breaches of bass conservation laws in 2021. The Master of the fishing vessel Atlantic Jem, Mr Sean Roche, pleaded guilty at Midleton District Court, on the 15th of June 2023, to two charges of contravening the Bass (Conservation of Stocks) Regulations 2006 in 2021.

The case arose from an inspection by the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority of the landing from the Atlantic Jem in December 2021, at Ballycotton Port, Co. Cork, where nine (9) bass were discovered, by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers, within boxed catch of other fish species. The Court heard evidence that the Master admitted to knowledge of the prohibition on retention of bass by Irish vessels.

The case was adjourned to the 22nd of June to allow the Master to make a charitable donation of €1,000. The donation was subsequently made, and the Probation Act was applied to finalise the matter.

An SFPA spokesperson commented:

“The SFPA notes the seriousness which the Court attributed to this incident. The prohibition on Irish Fishing vessels fishing for and retaining seabass under the current regulations is in place since 2006, however conservation measures have been in place since the 1990’s. Ireland introduced particular restrictions and controls to protect bass, as a conservation measure, on fishing, landing, and handling of bass, due to the depletion of stocks in Irish waters. This case serves as a reminder of the importance of the implementation of these measures. While not a feature of this particular case, the public and industry are reminded of the prohibition on the sale, and offers for sale, of bass in the State, other than imported bass. The SFPA commends the officers involved for their diligence.”




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About the SFPA 

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) is the independent statutory body responsible for the regulation of the sea-fisheries and the sea-food production sectors. It promotes compliance with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, sea-fisheries law and food safety law relating to fish and fish products, verifies compliance and, where necessary, enforces it. Its mandate covers all fishing vessels operating within Ireland’s 200-mile limit, over 2,000 Irish registered fishing vessels wherever they operate, and all seafood produced in Ireland’s seafood processing companies. The SFPA operates through a network of regional port offices situated at Ireland’s main fishery harbours. For further information visit: