Fisherman fined for catching lobsters without permit

NIFCA's chief officer Al Browne. Picture by Jane Coltman
NIFCA's chief officer Al Browne. Picture by Jane Coltman

A Blyth fisherman has received a hefty fine for catching lobsters off the Northumberland coast without the necessary permit.

The prosecution was brought by the Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) after Michael Denton Snr, the owner/skipper of Talisman II BK176, was spotted at sea, fishing lobster pots several times in early 2018.

He pleaded guilty last month at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court to fishing within the NIFCA district on a number of occasions without a current, valid commercial shellfish permit, contrary to the by-law.

He was ordered to pay a total of £2,270 – a £500 fine, NIFCA officers’ costs of £720, a contribution of £1,000 to legal costs and a £50 victim surcharge.

NIFCA’s chief officer, Al Browne, said: “Northumberland IFCA and its officers take the breach of any NIFCA by-law very seriously, particularly one such as this which is designed to conserve and protect fishing stocks for current and future generations of fishermen, as well as for the benefit of the marine environment.

“In this case, because the defendant ignored several reminders both by letter and in person, the authority felt the matter to be so serious that it had to be dealt with by the magistrates’ court.

“The sentence handed down by the magistrates hopefully sends out a very clear message as to how seriously an offence of this nature is viewed.”

Ben O'Connell, Local Democracy Reporting Service