Fines pair ‘to quit fishing industry‘Brothers admit breaching EU catch regulations – Mark Branagan
TWO brothers who have spent a lifetime in fishing said they were quitting the industry after being landed with a legal bill of more than £5,000 yesterday for breaching European regulations.
Peter Ibbotson, master of the Wayfinder, and his partner Robert Ibbotson, who is also deck engineer on the boat, have been trawling for more than 35 years since boyhood.
Yesterday they appeared in court for three joint offences under European Union conservation measures.
At Whitby Magistrates Court, Peter Ibbotson, 57, of Lambert Road, Bridlington, admitting failing to give advance notice of landing more than a ton of cod to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
He also pleaded guilty to failing to accurately complete a log book recording details of catches, or a log sheet which has to be filed before fish are landed.
His brother Robert, 58, of Columba Road, Bridlington, admitted three similar offences arising out of a fishing trip to Flamborough Head last November.
Graham Morris, prosecuting for DEFRA, said fisheries officers, who were not from the area and therefore unknown, had been maintaining observations on Scarborough harbour.
When the Wayfinder landed they checked the catch and found the £2,700 of filleted cod was over the one-ton limit which required the crew to phone DEFRA before landing it.
When the officers boarded the vessel they also found that the necessary paperwork had not been completed properly.
Mr Morris said the offences were serious because without the procedures the industry could not self-police or strike a balance between maintaining stocks and fishermen’s livelihoods.
Peter Ibbotson, defending himself, said the boat had experienced poor weather, its nets had been ripped by weed and crabs, and he had slept for only two in 36 hours on the voyage.
He added: “I’m guilty because I did not fill the log book in because it slipped my mind.” But it also “never entered his head” that the catch would be over a ton.
He had no reason for duping DEFRA, since the vessel was nowhere near using up its quota, still unfilled at the end of the year.
Peter Ibbotson was fined £1,780 and his brother £1,500. Each was ordered to pay £1,000 costs.
Leaving court, Peter Ibbotson said: “I can no longer put up with all this bureaucracy. It is tying fishermen down in an unworkable process when all we’re trying to do is make a living.”
But Defra fisheries inspector Michael Parker said: “The future of fishing in the North Sea depends on fishermen complying with the rules.”
Yorkshire Post Today – Leeds,Yorkshire,UK