French Fishermen Fined by Royal Court

Monday 23 January 09:48

Two French fishermen were sentenced in Jersey’s Royal Court today having pleaded guilty to beam trawling in Jersey waters from trawler ‘Louis Pauline’ without authorisation, failing to have an operational Automatic Identification System (AIS), misreporting information in vessel’s electronic logbook and failing to carry the correct permits.

‘Louis Pauline’ was caught by Fishery Officers beam trawling within the Jersey Territorial Sea approximately 10 miles north of Jersey during a nighttime operation in June 2015.  Subsequent analysis of satellite tracking and electronic logbook data showed that ‘Louis Pauline’ had fished in the Jersey and French parts of the Granville Bay area on 14 other occasions in 2015.  Electronic sales notes revealed that 13.4 tonnes of fish from these fishing trips had been sold for 72,520 Euros. It was not possible to determine the percentage of catch taken from Jersey waters, although the vessel was also not authorised to beam trawl in the French part of the Granville Bay area.

The vessel owner David Sylla, (who had previously been prosecuted for beam trawling with Louis Pauline in 2013) was fined a total of £37,500 and £2,000 costs.  His skipper Jonathan Burnel was fined £40,000 and £2,000 costs which included an additional £2,500 for failing to comply with requirement imposed by a Fishery Officer to remain in Jersey waters whilst the vessel was being inspected.

Assistant Director Marine Resources Greg Morel said “This complex investigation demonstrates how modern technology such as satellite monitoring and electronic reporting can be used to provide evidence and prevent illegal fishing to protect marine resources and the environment. The Court has sent a clear message that breaking fishing regulations and failing to use electronic systems correctly will be taken seriously.”

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