A Hastings fisherman came unstuck when he tried to hide his catch from fisheries officers – resulting in a fine and conditional discharge handed down by Hastings Magistrates Court for obstructing a fisheries officer.
This week the court heard that in October 2018 Simon Coglan intentionally attempted to evade inspections and hid his catch of bass in a public waste bin. He pleased guilty to the charge of obstructing a fisheries officer.
The court’s verdict followed the issuing of two administrative penalties by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, to the total value of £250 to Simon Coglan for offences committed on the same date.
The court heard that the administrative penalties were in respect to illegal commercial fishing for bass with nets from the shore, and the retention of bass below the legal minimum size.
‘The obstruction of a fisheries officer is regarded by the Authority as a serious offence. This is reflected within the law, as such an offence cannot be addressed by means of a financial penalty and requires courts to consider these offences,’ said Sussex IFCA Chief Fisheries and Conservation Officer Tim Dapling.
‘The Authority hopes this provides a clear message that, individuals should always cooperate with fisheries officers whilst they undertake their work to protect stocks promote sustainable fisheries.’