THE captain of a Portuguese fishing trawler appeared before a special court sitting of Clonakilty court, to face charges of ‘fishing with passive gear that was not correctly marked’ 300km off the West Cork coast.
The fishing trawler, the Mestre Bobicha, was escorted to Castletownbere by the LE Samual Beckett,where skipper Jose Ramon Perez Sampedro was charged with fishing with buoys that were not correctly marked, contrary to European fishery regulations.
When the vessel was inspected, it was found to have several tonnes of blue shark on board.
Standing in for State solicitor Malachy Boohig, solicitor Conrad Murphy told the court that he would be applying for the vessel to be indefinitely detained, pending the payment of the bond to the value of €153,254 and that Jose Ramon Perez Sampedro be sent forward for trial at the next sitting of Cork Circuit Criminal Court on October 30th.
The sum of €153,254 was established by combining the maximum fine, if convicted, of €80,000 with the value of the catch on board, which is estimated at €43,254, and the value of the trawler’s fishing gear, estimated at €25,000.
Judge John King was told that Mr Perez Sampedro’s solicitor, who was not present, was organising a bond.
Mr Perez Sampedro told the judge, through an interpreter, that his was a family business with just one boat and that he earned in the region of €2,500 per month.
Judge King granted the order for the detention of the Mestre Bobicha until such time as the bond was received.
Gardaí made no objection to bail for Mr Perez Sampedro to which Judge King ordered that the defendant enter a bail bond of €750 with no cash required and that he appear before Cork Circuit Criminal Court on Wednesday October 30th.