Skipper fined for black fishing

The skipper of a fishing boat who lied about the weight of his cod catches was ordered to cough up more than £10,000 when he appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Tuesday.

Master of the Lerwick-registered Guiding Light John Robert Scott entered false information on his log sheet on two occasions last year about the amount of fish he had caught at sea.

The 40-year-old from Shurton Brae in Gulberwick was given a hefty fine with additional penalties when he appeared before Sheriff Graeme Napier.

He admitted entering on his log a catch of 1,482kg of lightweight cod on 14th April, when in fact he had caught 2,466kg. On 4th May he did it again, this time putting in a log entry of 4,650kg. The actual catch was 6,618kg.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the offence was nothing more than a straightforward landing of “black fish” which were sold on.

“This was one of the most blatant cases of flouting the rules and doing business outside the quota system,” he said.

Defence solicitor Tommy Allan said Scott, a shareholder in the Guiding Light who had been fishing since he left school, was facing fuel bills equating to roughly £1,000 a day.

European rules regarding quota limits required him to dump the fish he had caught – which were already dead – over the side of the boat.

Sheriff Napier fined him £4,900 for the offence, and imposed an additional penalty of £5,631 to cover the value of the catch.

“This is one of the most blatant cases of mis-recordings I’ve dealt with,” he said.


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