Herring catch Trawlermen from Shetland Illegally Reeled in 15M GPB Worth of Herring and Mackeral

Herring catch

Six skippers are facing unlimited fines and confiscation orders to the tune of millions of pounds after admitting they breached fishing quotas.

Six trawlermen from Shetland are facing the music for reeling in an astounding 15 million GPB worth of herring and mackerel, cheating the strict quotas in place which are designed to help depletion of fish stocks.

The six skippers, hailing from Lerwick, admitted to making false declarations about the true hauls they brought in after over 200 trips between January 2002 and March 2005, which deliberately breached annual fishing quotas of their own.

The conviction came down, after an exhaustive investigation by the Scottish fisheries protection agency and police which also led to guilty pleas from the fish wholesalers Shetland Catch Ltd. For cooking their fish books, and falsifying reports about the size of their catches.

This particular case is one of the biggest on record involving what are known as “black landings”. Black landings is the practice of illegally catching and reeling more fish than what quotas allow for.

Black landings have all but died out, however director of operations with Scotland’s prosecution authority, Scott Pattison, has commented that there were also similar investigations still ongoing.

“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 devastating,” he said. “The legislation is to protect the marine environment for the good of all and to safeguard the fishing industry.” he said.