Newlyn vessel owner and skipper ordered to pay £11,000 for log book offences –

Newlyn vessel owner and skipper ordered to pay £11,000 for log book offences Published:  25 June, 2010

ANOTHER fishing vessel skipper and owner has been forced to pay a heavy bill of breaking the rules. This time it is the master and owners of the Newlyn beam trawler Nellie, who have pleaded guilty to a total of seven logbook offences at Cambourne Magistrates Court.

The court  heard that skipper Philip Brown, 51, of Western Avenue, Portsmouth had misreported the area of capture of sole in his log book on three trips during 2009.He had caught them in ICES sea area VIIe, the sole recovery zone, which is subject to tight quota restrictions to protect vulnerable stocks, and claimed the sole had been caught in a neighbouring area which was not so heavily restricted.

In the case brought by the Marine Management Organisation, the court was told the discrepancies were noticed when logbook entries were compared with a diary found on board Nellie by officers from the fishery protection vessel HMS Severn.

For three offences of failing to keep an accurate logbook Brown was fined a total of £1,200, ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge, and costs of £2,198.30.The Nellie’s owners, brothers Stephen Nowell, 51, and Michael Nowell, 41, both of Newlyn were each ordered to pay fines of £1,800 a victim surcharge of £15 and costs of £2,198.30.

After the case an MMO spokesman said “Sole in the recovery zone is subject to tight restrictions in an effort to prevent over fishing and allow the fish stocks to recover. Magistrates saw this as a serious environmental offence with obvious knock-on effect for other fishermen.”

Last week a Scottish scallop dredger and owner was ordered  to pay over £6,000 for catching undersized scallops off the South Coast.