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Fishing Skipper Fined 4,000 Euro Over Sea Fisheries Law Infringments

21st May 2024
The SFPA says the offences were detected during an at-sea inspection by officers on board the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) patrol vessel “Ocean Guardian”.
The SFPA says the offences were detected during an at-sea inspection by officers on board the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) patrol vessel “Ocean Guardian”.

A West Cork fishing skipper has had fines totalling 4,000 euro imposed after a court hearing relating to breaches of sea fisheries law.

The Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) says that the case was heard at Bandon District Court, Co Cork, on May 19th, 2024.

Johnny Walsh, from Kinsale, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to four charges relating to breaches of sea-fisheries law, namely the non-compliant use of below minimum mesh size while fishing for Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus), failure to retain a stowage plan and a certified capacity plan, and failure to having an operating Automatic Identification System (AIS) on board.

The SFPA says the offences were detected during an at-sea inspection onboard the vessel “Naomh Peadar II”, in the Celtic Sea, by officers on board the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) patrol vessel “Ocean Guardian”.

The vessel was detained in an operation involving sea-fisheries protection officers of the SFPA and the Garda Síochána on May 17th and 18th.

An SFPA spokesperson commended “the thorough and efficient inspection by the officers involved in this investigation and the cooperation between the EFCA patrol officials, sea-fisheries protection officers and An Garda Síochána”.

“Masters and owners of fishing vessels must ensure consistent compliance with mesh size requirements for gear used during each trip, particularly having regard to the potential damaging impact of not doing so,” the SFPA spokesperson said.

The spokesperson also said that “masters and vessel owners must ensure Automatic Identification Systems are operating at all times, and take immediate remedial steps, and have procedures in place, where a power outage occurs”.

Published in SFPA, Fishing Team

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About the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA)

The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority was established on the 1st of January 2007. The SFPA is independent in the exercise of its functions, which are below.

The principal functions of the Authority are:

  1. To secure efficient and effective enforcement of sea-fisheries law and food safety law
  2. To promote compliance with & deter contraventions of sea-fisheries law and food safety law
  3. To detect contraventions of sea-fisheries law and food safety law
  4. To provide information to the sea-fisheries and seafood sectors on sea-fisheries law and food safety law and relevant matters within the remit of the Authority, through the Consultative Committee established under section 48 of the above Act or by any other means it considers appropriate
  5. To advise the Minister in relation to policy on effective implementation of sea-fisheries law and food safety law
  6. To provide assistance and information to the Minister in relation to the remit of the Authority
  7. To collect and report data in relation to sea fisheries and food safety as required by the Minister and under Community law
  8. To represent or assist in the representation of the State at national, Community and international fora as requested by the Minister, and
  9. To engage in any other activities relating to the functions of the Authority as may be approved of by the Minister.

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