uk-registered norwegian waters undersized catch

A UK-registered fishing vessel was detained and fined for catching undersized fish using an illegal mesh size inside Norwegian waters of the North Sea. Photo: Torbjørn Kjosvold\Forsvaret

The Norwegian Coast Guard has reported that it had detained a UK-registered trawler on Wednesday 05 July, for fisheries offences inside the Norwegian EEZ.

The fishing vessel was boarded in the southern part of the Norwegian Zone in the North Sea, south-west of the city of Stavanger. When boarded by fisheries control officer of the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel, KV Bergen, it was noted that the vessel was engaged in a mixed fishery. On inspection the vessel was found to be fishing a mesh size smaller than legally allowed, resulting in 60 percent of the seven-tonne catch onboard as below the legal minimum size.

“The fishing took place in an area where it is well known that there are many small fish, which our inspectors have experienced as a problem in large parts of the North Sea basin in recent years. It becomes extra serious when you fish with a mesh size that is too small,” Chief of Control in the Coast Guard, Erling Øksenvå.

The vessel was detained by the Coast Guard and escorted to Egersund where it was handed over to Norwegian police, and the vessel Master and vessel owner were charged with the offence.

The Master of the fishing boat and the fishing company acknowledged the offence. The Master of the vessel was fined NOK 25,000 (£1,826) and the fishing company forfeited the value of the catch worth NOK 210,000 (£15,345).

“This is an old and established set of regulations, which should be familiar to most people. There are a lot of small fish in the North Sea, and it is therefore important to comply with the regulations, says Øksenvåg.

The matter has now been settled and the fishing vessel was released to continue fishing as long as the necessary guarantees are adhered to.

The Fishing Daily was told that Norwegian authorities have not named the fishing vessel involved in the incident, but it has been named locally as the Dutch-owned UK-registered 31-metre Jonge Johannes LT 295.

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