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Court / Fisherman given £3,000 fine for failing to submit landing forms

FAILING to submit forms relating to landing declarations has seen a fisherman receive a £3,000 fine.

Paul Forrest, 29, of Sandside, Mossbank, admitted at Lerwick Sheriff Court on Wednesday to failing to complete the FISH1 form on various occasions on or between 21 May 2018 and 19 April 2019.

It related to the Lerwick registered fishing vessel Braveheart.

Procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie told the court that the value of the fish related to the forms amounted to around £400,000.

He said the forms are useful in monitoring fish stocks and quotas.

Mackenzie added that over the time in question over 40 forms should have been submitted.

Defence agent Tommy Allan said his client was offered a fixed penalty at the time of £2,000, but this was not paid in full.

He said it related to a small fishing boat on which Forrest was employed as a skipper.

“He and the owner are no longer in business together,” Allan said.

The solicitor said Forrest was “trying to do too much” and was struggling with the paperwork.

A diary he relied on regarding figures was also misplaced, the court heard.

“He did what he could to try to rectify things,” Allan said. “It was not a deliberate attempt on his part to deceive anybody.”

Sheriff Ian Cruickshank noted that the law could in theory allow him to issue a financial penalty worth the value of the fish – £400,000.

But taking into account Allan’s mitigation the sheriff decided to fine Forrest £3,000.