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SFPA welcomes court ruling on fisheries offences

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The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) welcomes the ruling yesterday, by Letterkenny Circuit Court in relation to a case involving fisheries offences. Mr Jonathan Kenny, Master of the Irish registered fishing vessel, the Saltees Quest entered a guilty plea to three fisheries offences. He was fined a total of €3,000 and ordered to forfeit fishing gear to the value of €7,000. The offences included: failing to facilitate an inspection and examination of the vessel by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers (SFPOs) of the SFPA; fishing in an area using Beam Trawls with a 80mm mesh size in contravention of the vessel’s Cod Recovery Authorisation and fishing for sea fish without having a Stowage plan for monkfish retained on board.

The case arose following a routine procedure where SFPOs sought to inspect the Saltees Quest at the port of Greencastle, Co Donegal on 13 December 2013. Upon landing at the port, SFPOs identified a number of breaches of legislation.

Commenting on the verdict, Susan Steele, Chair, SFPA said: “Threatening behaviour against Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers and impeding them in the execution of their duty is unacceptable and will be acted upon.” She added: “Today’s ruling is also a clear reminder of the need for fishermen to abide by EU and Irish regulations which are key to rebuilding damaged fish stocks. Rebuilding fish stocks and recovery is vital for the future livelihoods of fishermen. It ultimately leads to better fishing possibilities for the sector as well as improved market supply for consumers.  However for it to succeed it needs to be a fair and equitable system for all fishermen and each need to play their part.  We are committed to detecting all cases of illegal fishing and to protecting the livelihoods of the many fishermen who respect the rules in place that safeguard the sustainable exploitation of valuable fish stocks.”


 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: