Guilty verdict upheld on appeal for fishing with an over-powered vessel in KEIFCA district
Mr. Terry Stimpson appeared in front of Basildon Crown Court on Thursday 4th February after appealing a guilty verdict of two counts of breaching a Kent and Essex IFCA byelaw on engine power.
On 19th August 2013 fisheries officers boarded the fishing vessel “Seaglory II ST2” whilst it was towing a trawl inside the district.
On the 1st September 2014 the same vessel was observed towing inside the district, but as officers from the Fisheries Patrol Vessel “Tamesis” approached, the skipper released what he was towing into the water.
Mr. Stimpson accepted in court that his registered vessel engine power 245kW was in excess of that permitted in the byelaw (221 kW) but claimed that on the first occasion the trawl was not fishing, and on the second occasion he was towing a chain in order to encourage fish to swim in to his drift nets.
The Court found that he was fishing on the first occasion, and on the second occasion that a chain could still be classed as a towed fishing instrument and therefore was in breach of the byelaw.
Upon finding Mr. Stimpson guilty on both counts and saying that he had ‘buried his head in the sand’ regarding the byelaws which must be complied with, the Judge ordered him to pay £3000 costs in addition to the original fines and costs totalling £1500.
Assistant Chief Officer of Kent and Essex IFCA Mr Dominic Bailey said “The verdict shows that the Kent and Essex IFCA takes non-compliance of its byelaws very seriously especially where repeat offending is evident”