Compliance Outcomes: Sanctions and Prosecutions
Where compliance is not achieved and a breach of legislation has been identified, there are a number of different enforcement actions that may be applied, depending on the severity of the offence. Verbal Warnings, Advisory Letters and Official Warning Letters may be issued for less serious offences, whereas more serious fisheries offences may result in Cautions, Financial Administrative Penalties* (FAPs) and Prosecutions. For more detail see the Compliance and Enforcement Framework.
*Since 6th April 2011, IFCAs have had the option to issue a Financial Administrative Penalty (FAP) as an alternative to a criminal prosecution. The Authority may consider issuing a FAP based on a number of factors, and where the offence may be classed as a ‘penalty offence’. See the full guidance here: Southern IFCA FAP Guidance.
Recent enforcement outcomes:
7th June 2022 - Viviers (UK) Ltd Pleads Guilty to Storing Undersized Clams
On Tuesday 7th June 2022 at Portsmouth Magistrates Court, Viviers (UK) Ltd., Fish and Shellfish Merchants, Camber Docks, Gunwharf Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to 3 counts of storing undersized shellfish on their premises. Charges were laid by the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority and Viviers (UK) Ltd. were ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £10,946.00.
For the offence committed on 16th December 2021 the court issued Viviers (UK) Ltd. with a fine of £2000. In relation to the offences committed on 16th December 2021 - the company were fined £4000, for storing undersized manila clams, and £750 for undersized American Hard-Shelled clams. They were also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £4006 and a victim surcharge of £190, making the total of all fines & costs £10,946.
4th May 2022 - Poole Fishermen Plead Guilty to Retention of Undersized Clams
On Wednesday 4th May 2022 at Poole Magistrates Court, Poole fishermen Andrew Skinner & Reginald Skinner, pleaded guilty to retaining on board their fishing vessel, Lula Bon PE892, a quantity of manila clams that measured below the minimum conservation reference size.
Charges were laid by the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA) and both men were ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £4,094.00. As joint owners of the vessel both Andrew Skinner and Reginald Skinner were liable for the breach of regulations. Each were fined £800.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,167.00 and a victim surcharge of £80.00.
27th January 2022 - Poole fisherman found guilty of Failure to Comply offences
On Thursday 27th January 2022 at Poole Magistrates Court, Poole fisherman Geoffrey Bennett was found guilty of failing without reasonable excuse to comply with a direction reasonably given by Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA).
At court Mr. Bennett said that he had not seen the officers or heard their directions. He told the court that he needed to get away in a hurry because of the poor weather conditions and the risk of damage to his boat if he left it there. The court did not find Mr. Bennett’s account credible and he was found guilty of two charges of Failing to Comply with officers. Mr. Bennett was fined £6,000, ordered to pay prosecution costs of £10,000 and a victim surcharge of £180.
18th October 2021 - Poole Fisherman pleads guilty to Obstruction and Retaining Undersize Shellfish
On 18th October 2021 at Poole Magistrates Court, as part owner of fishing vessel PE1232 Sky, Reginald John Skinner of Poole pleaded guilty to charges of retaining a quantity of undersized clams aboard his vessel and to obstructing enforcement officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA).
Mr. Reginald Skinner was fined £400 and ordered to pay £400 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £40. The Southern IFCA cases against Andrew and Christopher Skinner for their involvement in the same incident were heard earlier in the year at Poole Magistrates Court on 12 th May 2021, when they received identical sentences.
12th May 2021 - Poole Fishermen plead guilty to Obstruction and Retaining Undersize Shellfish
On 12th May 2021 at Poole Magistrates Court, brothers Andrew Skinner and Christopher Skinner of Poole pleaded guilty to fishing offences. As part owner of fishing vessel Sky PE1232, Mr. Andrew Skinner pleaded guilty to charges of retaining a quantity of undersized clams aboard his vessel and obstructing enforcement officers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA).
As master and part owner of fishing vessel Sky PE1232, Mr. Christopher Skinner pleaded guilty to retaining a quantity of undersized clams. Andrew Skinner and Christopher Skinner were both fined £400, both ordered to pay £400 towards prosecution costs and both ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £40.
19th April 2021 - Poole fisher pleads guilty to Obstruction and Failure to Comply charges
On 19 th April 2021 at Poole Magistrates Court, Mr. Patrick Hennessy of Poole pleaded guilty to charges of Obstructing and Failing to Comply with an enforcement officer from the Southern Inshore Fisheries & Conservation Authority (Southern IFCA).
The court heard how on the night of 12 th January 2020 in Poole Harbour Mr. Hennessy was fishing from an unregistered, unlicenced fishing boat. Mr. Hennessy was intercepted by Southern IFCA officers aboard the Fisheries Patrol Vessel. He was asked by officers to stop, to allow an inspection of his vessel, but he failed to do so. The officers were obstructed in the performance of their officer functions when Mr. Hennessy threw his catch and fishing equipment overboard.
Mr. Hennessy was fined £150 for obstructing enforcement officer Adam Parry and a further £150 for failing to comply with a direction reasonably given by officer Parry. In addition, Mr. Hennessy was ordered to pay £500 towards prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £32.
For more updates on Compliance Outcomes visit our News Page.
Between April 2021 and March 2022, Southern IFCA carried out a total of 71 vessel patrols at sea and 116 shore patrols on land. During the 71 patrols at sea, a total of 70 vessel boardings were carried out, for the purpose of conducting inspections. A total of 157 landing inspections and 20 premises inspections were carried out during the 116 shore patrols.
In the cases of minor breaches of legislation, a total of 36 verbal warning or advisory letters were issued. However, for more serious breaches of legislation, a total of 16 case files were generated. Of these case files, 10 resulted in written warnings being issued, 4 resulted in Financial Administrative Penalties (FAPs) being issued and 1 case resulted in a prosecution.