Skipper of Spanish vessel charged with breaking fishing regulations

Cicente Meitin Sanjuan will appear in Cork Circuit Criminal Court next week. 
Skipper of Spanish vessel charged with breaking fishing regulations

Spanish trawler skipper Vicente Meitin Sanjuan after his appearance at Midleton District Court. Picture: Neil Michael. 

The skipper of a Spanish fishing vessel is to appear before Cork Circuit Criminal Court next week after being charged with suspected breaches of fishing regulations.

Midleton District Court this morning heard Punta Candieira skipper Cicente Meitin Sanjuan, 52, has been charged with three offences.

Two of the charges are that, on May 28, while within the exclusive fisheries limits of the State, he was master of Punta Candieira “when a person on board did unlawfully fish for sea fish”.

The court heard this was contrary to Section 10 of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006.

The court heard that the Spanish vessel caught 10 tonnes of hake.

The State Solicitor John Brosnan valued it at around €51,000 but Mr Sanjuan's solicitor Dermot Conway said it was more likely to be worth €7,500.

Mr Brosnan told Judge Alec Gabbett that the Director of Public Prosecutions had chosen the Circuit Criminal Court in Cork to have jurisdiction to hear the case.

And after informing the court of this, he handed over the book of evidence in the case over to Mr Conway.

Garda Robert John Sheehan, of Cobh Garda Station, then told the court that he arrested Mr Meitin Sanjuan at 10.15am yesterday.

“I set out the charges, and I cautioned him,” he also told the court. “He made no reply.” 

Mr Brosnan then applied to the court for the matter to be returned for trial at Cork Circuit Criminal Court next Tuesday, June 8.

This was, he told the judge, “a suitable date for all concerned”.

The court also heard the boat is to stay in Cobh until such time as its owner can provide a bond of €170,000.

Bonds of this nature are, the court heard, usually around €200,000 but because the value of his catch - estimated to be around €8,000 — and various equipment on board, the bond was lowered.

This was all explained to Mr Meitin Sanjuan, who appeared in court, by a Spanish interpreter.

After signing a bail bond of €100 after his court hearing, he returned to Cobh where his boat is moored.

It was detained on May 31 while at sea by crew of the Le Roisín, 95 miles south of Mizen Head, Ireland's most south-westerly point.

As is procedure, it was then escorted to a berth in Cobh Harbour on June 1, where it has been ever since.

Ireland's 12-nautical mile limit gives exclusive rights to Irish-registered fishing vessels to fish in those waters.

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