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Record fine for Spanish fishing firms

A court has ordered a Spanish fishing company, its UK subsidiary and their captains to pay a total of £1.62 million for serious fisheries offences.

This is the highest court order amount ever imposed in a Marine Management Organisation (MMO) fisheries case.

Truro Crown Court handed down the sentence in relation to illegal overfishing of ling and hake, a particularly vulnerable fish stock, between 2009 and 2010 by two fishing vessels – the Spanish-registered Coyo Tercero and UK-registered O’Genita.

Charges brought by the MMO included providing false entries in logbooks and failing to record trans-shipments.

The defendants – masters of the vessels, Jose Antonio Perez Garcia (Coyo Tercero) and Jose Manuel Martinez Sanchez (O’Genita), and the owning companies pleaded guilty to charges at an earlier hearing in Truro on 5 April 2012.

Green Party calls for immediate ban on throwing fish back

A ban on throwing fish back into the sea needs to be implemented immediately according to the Green Party.

Fishermen have been discarding fish to stop them exceeding their quotas set by Europe. The West Country's fishing industry welcomed a decision this week by the EU Council that the practice should be stopped.

It took lengthy negotiations for Europe to agree a ban on fish discards Credit: ITV Westcountry

The first phase of the ban will not come into effect until 2014, but the Green Party says the ban must start earlier to help save threatened species.


Fishing industry welcomes ban on discarding surplus fish

The celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has long supported the campaign Credit: Georgie Gillard/PA

The West Country's fishing industry is welcoming a ban on the controversial policy of discarding dead fish caught accidentally. Fisherman have had to do it to stop them exceeding their quotas set by Europe.

But after 24 hours of negotiations, fisheries ministers in Brussels have approved a plan to overturn those rules and allow fishermen to keep the extra fish.

It was also decided that regions should be given more control over managing their fisheries.

The change follows pressure from the UK government and a long public campaign, which has included Westcountry TV chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

It's not definite when the ban will come in but it could be two years for mackerel and herring, and more like six years for cod, haddock, plaice and sole.


Fishing: Europe agrees a ban on discarding dead fish

The EU council has agreed a ban on fishermen discarding dead fish but no date has been set and it is subject to more negotiations.

There has been a long campaign against the throwing away of unwanted fish Credit: ITV Westcountry

Provisional dates would see a ban on mackerel and herring discards by January, 1 2014 and a ban on whitefish discards (cod, haddock, plaice, sole) phased in 12 months later and fully in place by January 1 2018.

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