Carmarthen bay – Three rivers drift netting court case.
Llanelli magistrates court on the 23rd June 2017
DAVID JOHN THOMAS from Swansea and RICHARD PULLEN from Gorseinoin pleaded guilty for drift net fishing in a unpermitted red area of the Carmarthen bay, Three rivers area, on the night and early hours of the 18th/19th May 2016.
The Time of year which they were fishing, coincided with the migration of Salmon and Sewin.
They had been seen fishing with drift nets in an unpermitted red area.
The two drift nets being used by DAVID JOHN THOMAS and RICHARD PULLEN were made of a monofilament material with confirmed lengths far exceeding 200mts.
They drift nets used were double the length of 200mts, which is allowed within the Fisheries byelaw legislation.
The two nets used were also measured for their mesh size and the average measurement of the mesh on the both nets were below the permitted minimum size of 100mm.
The magistrates confirmed that the nets used by the men were capable of catching any type of fish which swam into the mesh of the nets, hence why there is an unpermitted red area at the three rivers area to protect migratory and juvenile fish species.
The drift nets used caught a number of Sea Bass and Mullet whilst drift net fishing in the unpermitted red area.
At this specific time when the both of them were fishing, there was European legislation in force.
This legislation was on the complete ban on fishing for/killing Sea Bass, by using the method of drift netting during the months of January to June 2016.
Both men were aware of this drift net ban.
The two men were found guilty of the offence, which comes under the legislation from the :
Salmon and freshwater fisheries Act 1975 – Section 27 – Unlicensed fishing
They were fined £2500 each – NRW Costs of £4000 each – £120 victim surcharge each.
The courts also allowed NRW the authority for confiscation of all the drift netting equipment used at the time the offence occurred.