A Portsmouth-based Royal Navy patrol ship has caught and detained a fishing vessel for using illegal nets in the North Atlantic.
Fishery protection vessel HMS Severn was operating 200 miles (320km) off Land’s End – working on behalf of the Marine Management Organisation – when she inspected the fishing vessel in an operation that lasted more than 24 hours.
The Spanish Stern-Trawler Herbadi Dos was found to be using nets found to be of a type prohibited within the area. Having conducted a thorough inspection and secured evidence of the offences, HMS Severn was tasked to escort the vessel to Plymouth for further investigation.
On January 17 at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court, the master and owner of the Herbadi Dos pleaded guilty to using nets that failed to meet the twine thickness requirements for fishing in the Hake Recovery Area.
The master was fined £5,000 for the illegal twine thickness and has to pay a £15 victim surcharge. The owner was fined £15,000 for the illegal twine thickness and ordered to pay £5,345 in costs and pay a £15 victim surcharge. Total fines including costs were £25,375.
Lt Matthew Warren, the ship’s Executive Officer, said:
“This is another example of the Royal Navy’s commitment to marine enforcement. The detention was down to conscientious work by a team working in difficult conditions – it paid off and the result is a clear deterrent to others that may be engaged in similar activity.”
HMS Severn patrols UK and EU waters conducting maritime security and fishery protection duties, inspecting fishing vessels at sea and enforcing fisheries regulations.
The MMO is tasked with delivering the government’s vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.
Naval Today Staff , January 25, 2012; Image: royalnavy