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January 29, 2014

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Fishing vessel owner and masters ordered to pay £35,000 for violations


Truro magistrates have ordered the owner and masters of a fishing vessel to pay almost £35,000 for multiple health and safety and log-keeping violations including a boarding ladder that was below safety standards.  
TN Trawlers, owners of scallop dredger Sea Lady (TN20), and masters Christopher Nicholson and William Anderson appeared at separate hearings after an inspection in Newlyn by the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) found the catch aboard the vessel had been under-recorded in the electronic logbook. 
It was also heard that, in March 2013, the vessel was inspected at sea by the Royal Navy where the boarding ladder was found to be below safety standards. 
On 4 October 2013, TN Trawlers, represented by Tom Nicholson, pleaded guilty to all charges. One of the masters, Christopher Nicholson pleaded guilty to charges relating to logbook and landing declarations and on 22 November TN Trawlers were ordered to pay £13,500 fines, £11,860.83 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, while Christopher Nicholson was ordered to pay £4,000 fines, £1,317.87 costs and a £15 victim surcharge. 
Another master, William Anderson, did not appear at that hearing, but on 15 January he voluntarily attended court having pleaded guilty to all charges, and was ordered to pay £3,500 fines, £500 costs and a £120 victim surcharge. 
MMO said “The vast majority of the fishing industry is compliant with the rules that govern its commercial activities. We aim to encourage compliance with fisheries legislation through education, advice and guidance to the industry wherever possible. 
“Where necessary we may take enforcement action which could result in a court appearance, potential fines for masters and owners, and forfeiture of equipment imposed by the court”.

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