In 2010, MMO officers became suspicious that fish were being landed and not correctly recorded at several ports in the North East, an investigation was launched by the MMO which found that the Coronata III (BF356) had misreported about 4,633kg of fish, worth around £8,916.
John Alexander, skipper of the Coronata III (BF356), Andrew Dixon, manager of Caley Fisheries Ltd in North Shields, and salesman Terence Reed were sentenced for specimen regulatory offences relating to misreporting fish and providing false information. They had all pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
Mr Dixon pleaded guilty to 4 specimen charges and admitted a further 12 offences of providing false information and Mr Reed pleaded guilty to 2 charges of providing false information. They were fined £750 and ordered to pay £500 and £500 with £500 costs respectively.
Mr Alexander, the skipper, pleaded guilty to 2 specimen charges of failing to keep an accurate logbook and admitted further 6 offences, however, despite a consistent pattern of cheating and misrepresenting to the value of £8,916 he was only fined £1,000 with no costs payable.
So with all the subsidies, hard winter payments and all the other hand-outs, it would seem any fine must just be considered as an additional operating cost to be set against taxable profit.