'People must know how serious fishing offences are'

February 8th, 2023 7:00 PM

By Southern Star Team

The German-registered fishing vessel Pesorsa Dos that was detained by Irish Naval vessel George Bernard Shaw arriving into Castletownbere.(Photo: Niall Duffy/The Skipper)

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A SPANISH-owned trawler was allowed to leave Castletownbere this week after its owners paid a bond of €245,000 into court.

Its skipper is charged with a total of 12 fishing offences, following the boat’s detention by the Irish Naval Service for alleged breaches of EU fishing regulations in Irish waters.

Juan Pablo Docal Rubido (55), master of the German-registered Pesorsa Dos, was brought before a special sitting of Bandon District Court at the weekend following the detention of his vessel by the LE George Bernard Shaw for alleged fishing offences in Irish waters.

Mr Rubido, with an address at Ciudad de Lugo 5, Third Floor, Coruna, Spain, was charged with 12 fishing offences on various dates between January 5th and January 24th while fishing within the exclusive fishing limits of the State.

He was charged with two logbook offences of failing to record the proper depth that his vessel was fishing at, and with failing to record the proper soak times or times that he allowed his nets to stay in the water, while fishing within Irish exclusive fishing limits.

He was also charged with a total of nine separate offences of allowing his nets to exceed the permitted soak times of 72 hours allowed for the gear while fishing within the exclusive fishing limits of the State, contrary to Section 14 of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006.

Mr Rubido was charged with a 12th count of failing to facilitate the safe and effective boarding of Pesorsa Dos by Irish fishery protection officials on January 23rd, in that the boarding ladder broke while being used by officials for the purpose of boarding to inspect his vessel.

Acting State solicitor for West Cork, Jerry Healy, said that Garda O’Sullivan had served a book of evidence in the case on Mr Rubido and that the DPP had directed trial by indictment and he was seeking a return to Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

Mr Healy said that the State had no objection to Mr Rubido being released on bail. 

Defence solicitor Dermot Conway said that they were now operating in ‘a post-Malachy world’ in reference to recently-retired State solicitor for West Cork, Malachy Boohig, who had built up a huge expertise in fishing cases over three decades.

Judge Roberts inquired was it not the case that Mr Boohig was still working in a consultancy capacity in such matters, and Mr Healy said that was indeed the case and that Mr Boohig was ‘the supreme overseer’ on fishery matters including the current case.

 Mr Conway confirmed the issue of the €245,000 bond had been agreed and he applied for bail which Judge Roberts granted on Mr Rubido’s own bond of €5,000. 

‘We have to make sure people realise how serious these matters are,’ the judge said, returning the accused for trial to Cork Circuit Criminal Court which will be sitting in the city in April. 

The €245,000 was paid into court on Wednesday, releasing the vessel.

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