Fisherman fined after illegal netting near Bucks Mills

14:58 31 July 2014

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

North Devon Magistrates Court, Barnstaple

Archant

Giuseppe Rossi of Bideford registered fishing boat Miabella found guilty on three counts by magistrates.

A Hartland fisherman has been found guilty of illegally netting near Bucks Mills and fined £2,620.

Giuseppe Rossi, 38, owner of the fishing vessel Miabella, registered to Bideford, appeared before North Devon Magistrates in Barnstaple on July 22.

He pleaded not guilty to three charges relating to illegally netting off The Gore, near Bucks Mill on two separate occasions during September 2013.

The case was brought by Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (D&SIFCA) after the nets were seized by Environment Agency officers holding D&SIFCA warrants.

The authority’s bylaw prohibits the use of fixed nets within one nautical mile of the coast in significant stretches of coastline, in this case from Blackchurch Rock to Baggy Point.

The restriction is designed so netting does not interfere with the migration of salmon and sea trout. The authority has said it also recognises these netting restrictions also support the recreational sea angling sector.

Rossi was fined £500 for each count and ordered to pay £1,000 costs plus £120 victim surcharge.

Commenting after, Mat Mander, deputy chief Officer at Devon and Severn Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority said:

“The outcome of the court case is significant in that it sends out a clear message to anyone thinking of placing fixed nets in the D&SIFCA district to be fully aware of their responsibilities.

“And if the nets are placed and fished illegally the authority will consider taking formal action including taking offenders to court. The investigation again demonstrates the strong and effective working relationship D&SIFCA has with the EA and how cross warranting provides greater enforcement cover for both organisations on the coast.”

He said if people believe they have witnessed illegal sea fishing activities they can report it by calling the D&SIFCA on 07740 175479.

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