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SFPA welcomes court ruling

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The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) welcomes the ruling on Friday, 27th March 2015, by Donegal Circuit Court in relation to the Annelies Ilena.  Mr Gerrit Plug, Master of the Dutch registered fishing vessel, the Annelies Ilena was fined a total of €105,000 – the maximum fine permitted - having been found guilty of three charges¹ including discarding of fish subject to quota and failing to record discarded fish.


The offences were uncovered during the course of an inspection of the Annelies Ilena by a joint SFPA /Naval Service inspection team on the 22nd November 2013. The vessel was detained by the Naval Service, North West of Bloody Foreland in County Donegal and escorted to Killybegs.


Welcoming the conviction, Susan Steele, Chair of the SFPA said: “This ruling sends a clear message and a severe warning to anyone engaged in illegal fishing activities. Illegal fishing has many serious consequences for the people who depend on fisheries for food and employment.”


She added “the SFPA has prioritized the implementation of the new Landing Obligation during 2015.  With the support of the Naval Service we are committed to detecting all cases of illegal fishing to ensure that EU quotas are fairly and sustainably managed continuously and fish continue to make a vital contribution to the Irish economy on a sustainable basis.”




For further press information, please contact Eleanor Buckley, Communications Manager, Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority on 023 885 93 46/ 087 920 3658 or email



Ger McCarthy, Weber Shandwick, on 01 679 8600/ 086 233 3590 or email:


Editors Notes:


1 The three charges were:

  • Failure to record all estimated discards above 50kg of live weight equivalent in the vessels logbook which is in contravention of EU regulation;
  • Discarding species subject to quota during fishing operations;
  • Exceeding the maximum allowed space between bars in the water separators of a pelagic vessel targeting mackerel, herring or horse mackerel