At the High Court in Edinburgh today two fishermen pled guilty to offences of making false declarations regarding over £7million of fish that they landed.

The offences, in contravention of sea fishing legislation relate to a number of illegal landings of mackerel and herring at Lerwick between 2002 and 2005, in respect of which the vessel skippers falsely declared the quantity of fish they landed as a means of evading the annual fishing quota allowed to their vessel.
The two accused, both masters of the fishing vessel Enterprise, and the amounts for their undeclared catches are:

  • Victor Ralph Buschini - 44 landings, worth £3,220,258.78
  • Hamish Forbes Slater - 47 landings worth, £3,976,198.86

The landings were made at the premises of Shetland Catch Ltd, Gremista, Lerwick. Shetland Catch Ltd who previously pled guilty to assisting the skippers in making these undeclared landings.

The prosecution of these individuals follows that of six others in August for similar offences.

Speaking after the court hearing, Scott Pattison, the Director of Operations at the Crown Office, said:

“The investigation is continuing into other landings but the successful prosecution of these additional accused is a further example of successful joint working between law enforcement agencies.

“This is not a victimless crime.  The consequences of overfishing on this scale are far reaching and the impact on fish stocks and the marine environment is potentially devasting.

“The legislation is to protect the marine environment for the good of all and to safeguard the fishing industry.  We will continue working with police and other agencies to prosecute those indivduals or organisations who disregard it for their personal gain.”

Cephas Ralph, Head of Compliance at Marine Scotland said:

“Marine Scotland is determined to secure a sustainable future for the sea fishing industry and the coastal communities they support.  Illegal fishing is a crime committed against the marine environment and the many honest fishermen who abide by the regulations and fish responsibly.”

Related posts:

  1. £15 million of unfortunate mackerel
  2. Scott Trawlers indifferent to EU laws
  3. One way of looking at it
  4. Illegal scallop fishing
  5. Catching sector being let down


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