French and Dutch trawlers pay more than £55,000 after joint exercise – Fishupdate.com

French and Dutch trawlers pay more than £55,000 after joint exercise Published:  23 November, 2007

TWO foreign trawlers were detained and later fined last week after the joint fishery protection exercise by the UK and other member states in the North Sea and Eastern Channel caught them committing fishing offences, says the Marine and Fisheries Agency.

The Dutch beamer Jozina (ARM 4) was boarded in the North Sea 20 miles east of Margate by an international team lead by a British Sea Fishery officer working from the French Fishery protection vessel P.A.M. Themis.

They found skinned and headed under-sized sole deeply concealed under boards, ice, and fish boxes in the fish room; the vessel was using an under-sized net and the skipper had under-declared both sole and plaice in the log book.

Dies van Belzen of Arnemuiden, Netherlands, and owners W. van Belzen, also of Arnemuiden later pleaded guilty at Ipswich magistrates court on October 24 to the offences in the case brought by the Marine and Fisheries Agency. They were ordered to pay a total of almost £23,000 in fines and costs.

The court also ordered that the undersized cod end and the under-sized sole should be forfeited.

In a separate case, the French stern trawler Saint Jacques II (BL914059) was boarded in the North Sea eight miles east south east of Dover by British and French Sea Fishery Officers working from HMS Severn.

They found cod mis-recorded as black sea bream in the log book. And that the vessel had retained 25 per cent cod, when under cod recovery rules it is only allowed 20 per cent when using nets of 80-90 mm.

In a prosecution brought by the Marine and Fisheries Agency, owners Luc Margolle, and Ludwig Margolle and master Gerard Battez later pleaded guilty at Folkestone Magistrates on October 26 to offences of failing to record cod in the ship’s fishing log and breaking cod recovery regulations. They were ordered to pay a total of £36,750 in fines and costs.

A Belgian, a French and a UK trawler were also detained in France during the two week joint exercise. Their catches were forfeited and financial bonds were paid to allow the release of vessels pending future court appearances.

The two week exercise by France, Belgium, Netherlands, and UK was instigated by the Community Fisheries Control Agency and co-ordinated by the French Affaires Maritime.

Joint patrols were undertaken by the British fishery protection vessels HMS Mersey and Severn with the P.A.M. Themis (FR), Flamant (FR), the Albatros (BE) Zeehond (BE) and the Barend Biesheuvel (NL).

The vessels swapped fishery protection officers from the different enforcement bodies to board and inspect fishing boats in each other’s waters.

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