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French skipper fined for illegal fishing

27 January 2012

The owner and skipper of a French vessel caught fishing in an area for which he was not authorised was prosecuted by the Jersey Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday 25 January.

Morgan Lecuyer, skipper of the St Malo registered Penn Kalet, was fined £1,500 for fishing for spider crabs in July 2011 in an area to the north of the Island where only a limited number of French vessels have authority to fish.

The leader of the Department of the Environment’s Marine Resources section, Mike Smith, said that the successful prosecution of Msr Lecuyer was evidence of the working partnership between the department and local fisherman.

Jersey’s Fisheries Officers were alerted to the presence of the Penn Kalet by professional Jersey fishermen, and a patrol vessel and satellite monitoring were then used by the department to confirm that the vessel had been fishing illegally in the zone for a number of days. The patrol vessel Norman Le Brocq identified a significant amount of fishing equipment belonging to the Penn Kalet.

“The fishing zones and licences have been agreed by the Jersey and French authorities and are in place to protect the interests of locally based Jersey and French fishermen. At a registered tonnage of 62 tonnes, the Penn Kalet is a relatively large fishing vessel and we would like to thank the Jersey fishermen who brought her presence in this area to our attention," said Mr Smith.

Msr Lecuyer, who pleaded guilty to fishing in an area where his vessel was not authorised between 21 and 29 July 2011, attended the Island voluntarily for formal interview and was co-operative with the authorities throughout.

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