Mick Antoniw AM, Counsel General
During the summer we have seen further successful prosecutions for fishing offences. Last month 3 vessels were prosecuted, with combined fines and costs of over £26,000. I take these offences seriously and such action has been brought about by the hard work of our Marine Enforcement officers.
Without the close regulation of our fisheries we run the risk of significant damage to the sustainability of our valuable natural resources and fishing communities. The effective and proactive management of our fisheries in Wales is vital for the future species and habitats in our Welsh waters.
Under fisheries legislation I authorised the prosecution of recent investigation cases which have been successfully prosecuted.
The owner and the master of the fishing vessel The Gratitude received combined penalties and costs of £21,337 for illegal scallop dredging within the closed areas of Cardigan Bay. The Fishing vessel The Celtic, a vessel which targets Whelk was successfully prosecuted for failing to submit Statutory Logbooks and Landing Declarations. The two owners received combined penalties and costs of £2,212. The Master did not attend and a Warrant, without bail, was issued by the court. The fishing vessel The Carley Rose, a gill netter was successfully prosecuted for illegal drift netting in Carmarthen Bay. The Owner/Master received penalties and costs totalling £3,242.
These cases follow on from the recent prosecution of three scallop vessels which received penalties totalling £62,000. I take the enforcement of fisheries rules and regulations seriously, and I urge all skippers to make sure they are fishing within the requirements of the law.