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Statement on violation of EU notification rules

IJmuiden, 11th March 2015  - The Skipper and owning company of our Dutch flag freezer trawler Frank Bonefaas SCH 72 were fined a total of £102,015 at Bodmin Magistrates’ Court on Friday 6th March 2015 for a technical offence under EU fisheries regulations. The company and the Skipper very much regret this offence which was caused by a misunderstanding of the regulations by the Skipper.

The company wish to make it clear that there were no fish caught by this vessel that it was not entitled to catch and that all of the catch was reported correctly to the authorities both during fishing operations (by electronic Log-Book) and at the time of landing. The offence was a technical offence in that the vessel did not properly report, by radio, its intention to enter, and its entry into, a specific sea area known as ‘the mackerel box’ off the south-west coast of the United Kingdom.

The Skipper and the company both regret this mistake which was caused by the fact that the Skipper mistakenly believed that the radio reporting-in was not now necessary due to the recent introduction of daily electronic Log Book reporting of catches coupled with the government operated satellite reporting system on the vessel which reports the position of the vessel every 2 hours to government fishing authorities.

Lawyers engaged by the company and the Skipper apologised to the Court for this error.

The Court accepted the company’s explanation of this error and commented on the fact that this was the first time that the Skipper or the owners had been in any UK Court. However, the Skipper and the owning company had pleaded guilty to the offence and were fined in accordance with the regulations. The Magistrates decided not to enforce the maximum potential fines based on the detailed mitigating points put to the Court by legal representatives. The Bodmin Magistrates also asked the company to ensure that in future all of its Skippers were well advised on what they acknowledged were complex fisheries regulations.


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