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A master and vessel owner were ordered to pay £12,240 in fines and costs by Truro Magistrates’ Court on 23 January 2014 for fisheries offences relating to illegal net meshes and codends and for failing to complete an accurate electronic log.

In February 2013 the Gleaner II (CN777) was boarded by the Royal Navy in the Celtic Sea, which forms part of the Hake Recovery Zone and Celtic Sea Square Mesh Panel Area, for a routine inspection.

An inspection of the nets revealed that the codends were constructed of double twine with a thickness of more than 4mm and below the 100m that the master had declared in his electronic log.

The square mesh panels were situated in excess of the required 9 metres of the codline.

Tommy Finn, master of the Gleaner II and owner David Hill both pleaded guilty to all charges and were each ordered to pay fines of £5,000, costs of £1,000 and victim surcharges of £120.

MMO recognises that the vast majority of the fishing industry is compliant with the rules that govern its commercial activities.

We aim to encourage compliance with fisheries legislation through education, advice and guidance to the industry wherever possible.

Where necessary we may take enforcement action which could result in a court appearance, potential fines for masters and owners, and forfeiture of equipment imposed by the court.