Illegal fishing costs boat owners £21,000

Contributed by editor on Mar 14, 2006 - 05:48 PM


Owners of a Dutch beam trawler that was found to be operating illegal netting in UK waters have been fined more than £7000 and forced to forfeit gear worth over £14,000, following a successful prosecution at Dover Magistrates Court.

The vessel, Joris Senior, was using fishing nets known as ‘blinders’, which are designed to trap undersized fish. Investigation of the trawler uncovered a large haul of undersized fish and more illegal netting.

The prosecution came as a result of collaboration between the Royal Navy and Dutch Enforcement Authorities.

"Boats using this type of illegal netting are cheating other fishermen and the penalties reflect the seriousness of the offences committed,� said Paul Johnson, senior fisheries officer from Defra's Marine Fisheries Agency. "Fisheries enforcement is a difficult and demanding job, designed to protect the interests of the fishing industry as a whole. Today's successful prosecution is a good example of how by working together the UK along with our Dutch colleagues can reduce illegal fishing and help conserve valuable fish stocks."