Three men have been fined £600 each in the Magistrate's Court for catching undersized lobsters, as well ormers outside of season.
Joao Paolo Martins, Paolo Antonio Nascimento Andrade and Claudio Antonio Nascimento Andrade, all pleaded guilty to the two charges.
Appearing before Magistrate Peter Harris yesterday, the three men were charged with having retained seven lobsters of a smaller size than prescribed in law, and possessing 18 ormers outside of the restricted time.
St. Brelade Centenier Amanda Wright said that Fisheries officers had seen the three men leave the rocky area of the shore, and go up La Pulente slipway to two cars in the early evening of 20 September last year.
When they were approached by the officers, the men told them that they had been low water fishing, and showed officers their catch, which was in a sports bag.
Pictured: The three men appeared in court appeared before Magistrate Peter Harris.
Officers immediately saw that there were “obviously undersized” lobsters in the bag, which the men said that they had not measured.
The trio advised officers they had thought the correct measurement of a lobster was from the front of the shell to the tail – if this had been the case, the sizes would have been fine.
However, rules say that lobster sizes are measured from behind the eye socket to the first joint of where the tail joins the body.
The men also had 18 ormers, which are only allowed to be fished from 1 October to 30 April.
Upon returning the group's catches to the water, the Centenier noted that “one lobster had died before being returned and the Fisheries Officers feared that the damaged ormers wouldn’t survive.”
All three men told the Magistrate yesterday that they did not know they had done anything wrong before being told so by the Officers, as evidenced by the fact that all three had stayed on the slipway.
Centenier Wright said that the men had “given their full co-operation throughout”, from talking with the Fisheries Officers at La Pulente, through to the Parish Hall - something which the Magistrate also acknowledged.
Concluding, Magistrate Harris emphasised that the need for fishing regulations is about “conserving fishing stocks - that is something that has been very much in the news recently, albeit with commercial fishermen.”
Pictured: The Magistrate explained that regulations were there to ensure the island's fish stocks were looked after.
He added: “You must check the regulations before you go, which would include taking measuring equipment with you.”
The three men were fined £300 each for both charges, with total fines of £600 each.
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