The master of a French trawler L’arc en Ciel (BL899828), was ordered to pay a total of £14,750 for illegally fishing in UK waters.

The defendant pleaded guilty today at Grimsby Magistrates Court to the offence of fishing within the 12 mile limit off Flamborough Head.

The trawler was caught on July 5 by the Royal Navy’s Fisheries Protection Vessel HMS Cattistock.

During the case, brought by the Marine Fisheries Agency (MFA) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), the master was fined £12,500 and ordered to pay costs of £2,250.

Mike Parker, MFA District Fisheries Inspector, said: “Any fishermen, regardless of their nationality, must comply with the regulations while working in UK waters.

“Masters have a responsibility to ensure that they are familiar with the rules that apply in the areas they intend to fish. They must check to see where and when they can fish, and for what species. Ignorance of the law is not a defence.

These rules are in place to benefit conservation by restricting effort in the most sensitive parts of community waters and preserving traditional fishing activities on which the social and economic development of the coastal communities depends.”

“The Marine Fisheries Agency will take action against any vessel that breaks the law.”