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The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) has stated that the detention of the Spanish registered fishing vessel, Novo Alborada, in Castletownbere on the 9th June 2019 for alleged skate fishing infringements, resulted from a joint operation with the UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and An Gardaí..

Following a special hearing at Macroom District Court before Judge James McNulty on the 10th June, the skipper of the Spanish vessel, the Novo Alborada was charged with the retention of a prohibited species of fish and a second charge of mis-reporting its fishing activity on its logbook.

The Skipper was returned to Cork Circuit Court on 30th October next to face the charges. Judge McNulty also ordered that the vessel was to be held in continued detention by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers , unless bond was provided in the sum of €139,000 to the court.

Susan Steele, Chair, SFPA states this operation highlights the success of interagency co-operation.  “We have zero tolerance for vessels illegally fishing endangered species in our waters. The UK MMO has liaised with Irish authorities on this case and luckily this alleged infringement was detected following inspection. We will continue to work with authorities across Europe to deter and detect any future illegal fishing violations.”

The SFPA ensures compliance with national fishing quotas, which ensures equality and fairness for all fishers and the continued sustainability of Ireland’s valuable marine resources.  It monitors all vessels operating within the Irish EEZ electronically with the support of the Naval Service, and reviews and assesses their declared catches for compliance with EU sea-fisheries legislation. Where non-compliances are found, prosecutions may follow as with any incident of non-compliance with the law.