Black fish worth a million

blackIan Buchan, master of the Quantas fishing vessel has been ordered to pay £1 million as part of the notorious Scottish black fish fraud case.

The fine is one of the largest ever made against an individual in Scotland; Buchan was one of the vessel masters and three processing factories who conspired to under report fishing levels from the North Sea in a scam estimated to have been worth at least £62.8m.

Speaking after today’s court hearing, Lesley Thomson QC, the Solicitor General, said: “They put their own financial gain first and sought to obtain staggering amounts of money with blatant disregard for the impact such large scale overfishing would have.”

Cephas Ralph, head of compliance at Marine Scotland, said: “Today’s court activity was the successful result of long running and complex joint operations into large-scale illegality at a small number of processing plants initially uncovered during factory raids over six years ago.

“This action has prompted huge improvements in levels of compliance but my officers remain continuously vigilant in monitoring the enormous quantities of valuable Herring and Mackerel handled by Scottish processing plants.”

But if the scam was worth £62.8m it is patently obvious that commercial fishing crime pays and given past Scottish governments appearing to turn a blind eye to their activities, perhaps Marine Scotland should have been in the dock too.

Category: Commercial

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