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MFA wins illegal fishing case|
MFA wins illegal fishing caseTuesday 16 January 2007
A large-scale illegal fishing operation has resulted in the prosecution of seventeen people, following a hearing at Liverpool Crown Court. The court heard how the owners of 12 vessels operating out of Whitehaven and Kilkeel had deliberately falsified catch reports of cod, haddock, plaice and scampi, despite the strict quotas active for these species. The catches represented in the cases were worth an estimated £1.25m
Fines for the 17 out of 22 defendants who pleaded guilty totaled more than £147,000.
“The Marine Fisheries Agency regard this as a serious case of cheating the system which is designed to safeguard fish stocks and thus protect the livelihoods of fishermen. This type of prosecution is necessary to prevent the unlawful landing of species that are subject to quota limits,” said Mike Parker, Marine Fisheries Agency District Inspector.
“We will prosecute offences of this nature robustly. It is essential that the fishing industry complies with the regulations which are intended to ensure sustainable fish stocks, in the long-term interests of the fishing industry and the wider public.”