Marine Management Organisation
On 6 March 2015 at Bodmin Magistrates courts the master and owner of the Dutch registered trawler Frank Bonefaas SCH-72 were each convicted following guilty pleas after being charged by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) with illegally retaining on board mackerel deemed to have been caught in the mackerel box.
Fishing vessels seeking to fish in this area of the sea are required to provide a minimum of 24 hours notice prior to entering the area and to inform the MMO of the total quantities of mackerel on-board prior to entering. Vessels equipped with regulated fishing gears are then limited to catches which are made up of not more than 15% of mackerel
The court heard how the vessel, a 119.65 metre pelagic trawler had, between 22 February 2014 and 13 March 2014, entered the mackerel box and fished for mackerel and other species without previously notifying the MMO. The vessel was boarded on 13 March 2014 by Royal Navy fishery protection officers from HMS Severn. The catch was inspected and the vessel was found to have 632,166 kgs of mackerel on board which was all deemed to have been caught inside the mackerel box. The court heard that the value of the catch was in the region of 436,557.
The court fined the master, Piet Hoek of Katwijle aan Zee, Netherlands 15,000 and ordered a payment of a victim surcharge of 120 and 125.88 towards the costs of the prosecution.
The Dutch company which owns the vessel, Diepzee Visserij Maatschappij Cornelis Vrolijk II BV, was ordered to pay 38,000, a victim surcharge of 120 and prosecution costs of 5,000. Additionally, the owner was ordered to pay a fine of 10% of the value of the fish (43,650).
The MMO has amended the first paragraph of the above statement to help clarify the fact that it was the defendants failure to notify the MMO of any on board mackerel catch prior to entering the mackerel box which meant that on inspection all of the catch was deemed by law to have been caught in the mackerel box. The MMO considers the original statement read in its entirety to be factually correct and accurate, but we are happy to make this amendment by way of clarification.