The skipper of the Spanish-registered Punta Candieira has appeared in Court on charges related to alleged breaches of fisheries regulations

The skipper of the Spanish-registered Punta Candieira has appeared in Court on charges related to alleged breaches of fisheries regulations

The skipper of the Spanish-registered Punta Candieira has appeared in Court this morning in County Cork, on charges related to alleged breaches of fisheries regulations.

Last Friday, the Punta Candieira was found to be fishing inside the Irish 12-nautical mile limit when it began harassing local trawler Lours des Mers, from it’s fishing grounds off Bantry Bay, Co Cork.

The skipper of the Punta Candieira had set longlines on the grounds being fished by skipper Kieran Sheehan of the Lours des Mers and set about encircling the Irish boat, at times no more than 50 metres away.

When the skipper of the Spanish vessel came on the VHF, Mr Sheehan took the coordinates of his fishing gear, and when plotted, found they were inside the Irish 12-mile limit.

Mr Sheehan had called Valentia Coast Guard, but it took 10 hours for an Irish Naval boat to attend the scene and by that time the Punta Candieira had cut and fled, leaving miles of longlines behind it.

On Tuesday 01 June, The Irish Naval Service Vessel LÉ Róisín detained the Spanish-registered fishing vessel approximately 95 Nautical Miles South of Mizen Head and it was escorted back to Cobh Harbour where the ship was detained by An Garda Síochana for  for suspected breaches of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006.

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This morning, the skipper appeared before Midleton District Court at 10.30am. The details of the charges was given in Court.

A statement from An Garda Síochana today read:

“At the request of the Irish Naval Service, An Garda Síochána detained a ship at Cobh port on June 1, 2021 for suspected breaches of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act, 2006.

“Following an application through the courts, the vessel was further detained whilst an investigation was carried out in conjunction with the State Solicitors Office.

“A man, aged in his 50s, has since been charged in connection with this incident and appeared before Midleton District Court this morning at 10.30am.”

by Oliver McBride

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