Inshore fisherman fined for ignoring cod protection rules –

Inshore fisherman fined for ignoring cod protection rules Published:  17 July, 2007

A RAMSGATE fisherman who used under size mesh in three sets of his static net gear to catch cod in the North Sea was ordered to pay £3,400 in fines and costs by magistrates at Folkestone yesterday.

Skipper/owner of the 8.5 metre Sarah Louisa, David Turner, 45, of Herne Bay, Kent, pleaded guilty to a single offence of using the wrong mesh net size for cod – the species he was trying to catch – in a case brought by the Marine and Fisheries Agency.

The court heard how sea fisheries officers from the RN Fishery Protection vessel HMS Tyne boarded the Sarah Louisa in January six miles east of Ramsgate.

The officers stayed aboard Sarah Louisa all day and inspected three other sets of static gear hauled by Turner. All were too small. They measured 134 mm, 132 mm and 133 mm. The minimum size is 140 mm.

A senior Marine and Fisheries inspector said after the case: “All fishermen know that cod stocks are in a perilous state and that there are important conservation measures in place to protect them.

“One of the most important of these measures is the restriction on net mesh sizes fishermen are allowed to use, so that immature fish can escape.

“The minimum net mesh size is clearly spelled out and all fishermen should know what they are.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.