Fisherman fined thousands of pounds for having undersized whelks

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A FISHERMAN has been fined for keeping undersized whelks in contrast to European conservation laws.

Sean Bacon, of Seymour Close, Buckland, Portsmouth, had a batch of the sea creatures, of which a third were below the 45mm minimum size allowed.

Keeping whelks that are too small is an offence contrary to Article 19 of European Council regulation on the protection of sea creatures.

Bacon was caught out by workers from the Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA) while they were out on patrol around The Marina, in Whale Island Way, Portsmouth, on November 20 last year.

He had a total of 18 bags of whelks with a value of between £700 and £900.

The prosecutor acting on behalf of IFCA found Bacon had ‘no regard’ for the minimum size legislation.

In Bacon’s mitigation, he informed the court that he was not the skipper on the day that the offence was detected and that he was only the owner of the vessel on paper.

The magistrates took into consideration his early guilty plea, however, they felt that this was aggravated by his four previous convictions.

Bacon was fined a total of £1,500 and ordered to pay full costs of £2,635.20, plus a surcharge £120 towards victim support, bringing the total fines and costs to £4,225.20.