The Master and owner of UK-registered fishing vessel Success III, KY211, has been ordered to pay a total of £8,000 for fishing illegally within British Fishery Limits.

The defendant pleaded guilty yesterday (2 October) at Grimsby Magistrates Court to using a multiple-rig trawl with a mesh too small for the area of the North Sea in which the vessel was operating, and to failing to give prior notification of the specified gear to be used when fishing in the North Sea Cod Recovery Zone.

The trawler was inspected at sea on June 23, 2005 by the Royal Navy’s Fisheries Protection Vessel HMS Mersey. The master/owner was fined £2,500 for each offence and ordered to pay costs of £3,000.

On the same day, also at Grimsby Magistrates Court, the Master and owners of Dutch beam trawler Elisabeth Christina (TX19) admitted logbook and net offences. The Dutch trawler had been detained by HMS Quorn of the RN Fishery Protection Squadron on 28 September.

The skipper was fined £5,000 for the logbook offences. The vessel owners were fined £12,000 for the logbook and net offences, plus £4,250 for the value of the catch. Costs of £3691 were awarded to the Marine Fisheries Agency and the offending cod-ends were forfeit.

A Marine Fisheries Agency spokesman said:

“We take seriously our job of enforcing European and UK regulations, and we will take action against anyone caught breaking the rules. It is very important that fishermen comply with the regulations, for the long-term viability and sustainability of sea fisheries which is in the interest of the fishing industry and the public.”