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Nwicker60
11-Jul-15, 08:26
Accused took haddock from closed fishery court hears

A NORTH-EAST skipper landed an illegal catch at Scrabster but by the time fishery officers discovered it, the fish had been transported south to Peterhead and sold.

Howver, the skipper, Scott Shepherd was duly charged and fined 2162 at Wick Sheriff Court yesterday.

Shepherd, 46, admitted having failed to comply with a regulation by catching and landing a quantity of haddock from a closed West Coast fishery.

Skippers are regularly advised of changes in fishing areas by e-mail and on a Marine Scotland web site. Fiscal David Barclay said that Shepherd had simply failed to keep up with the updates.

The offence was discovered when fishery officers were checking the electronic log on board the accused's trawler, Aquarius after its catch was landed at Scrabster on December 10, last year.

By that time, the haddock was on its way south by road to Peterhead where it was sold.

However, said fiscal David Barclay, there was a system in place to calculate what a specific species had fetched as part of an overall catch and the haddock was found to have sold for 2162-95p. Fines in such

case are fixed at a level no greater than the value of the offending catch.

That was the fine imposed by Sheriff Andrew Berry who heard that when seen by the authorities, Shepherd of 8 Kirkwood Crescent, Portsoy, said that it was "just a genuine mistake".