NAFO cites foreign ships with illegal catches

Canada's Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) released a list of two vessels cited with not recording catches and exceeding by-catch allowance off the coast of Newfoundland.

Spanish vessel issued serious citation for hiding excess catch

Two foreign vessels were cited by NAFO in May for not recording catches and exceeding by-catch allowances off the coast of Newfoundland. One vessel was issued a serious citation for trying to hide excess fish. (Associated Press)

Canada's Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) released a list of two vessels cited with not recording catches and exceeding by-catch allowance off the coast of Newfoundland.

Spanish vessel Puente Sabaris and Russian ship Melkart-3 were issued citations in May 2014.

Three NAFO inspectors - two Canadian and one European Union - boarded the Puente Sabaris on May 3, which was fishing Greenland halibut in NAFO division 3L.

The vessel's master had recorded 65 tonnes of fish in the log and stowage plan, but inspectors found an additional 51.25 tonnes of Greenland halibut in a separate hold that was not recorded.

NAFO inspectors cited the master for mis-recording of catch in the logbook and failing to maintain an accurate stowage plan.

The first citation was considered serious because any unrecorded fish in excess of 10 tonnes, or that represents more than 20 per cent of the catch is considered a serious infraction under the rules.

The Puente Sabaris is a multiple repeat offender, having been caught for illegal fishing activities twice before in March 2013, and in March 2005.

The vessel was recalled to port by Spanish officials to conduct a full investigation.

On May 5, Canadian NAFO inspectors boarded the Melkart-3 in the port in Argentia and determined the master of the vessel had exceeded the by-catch allowance.

He was issued a citation for exceeding the by-catch allowance of 3N cod, and failure to leave the NAFO division for at least 60 hours.

With files from Jamie Baker

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