Man caught with 17 small lobsters

A Berwick man who was found to have 17 small lobsters as he gathered shellfish on the Berwickshire shoreline has been fined at Newcastle Magistrates Court.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 9:51 am
Mike Hardy, NIFCA

On April 16, Heng Shun Zhu pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching Northumberland Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (NIFCA) byelaws.

The case was brought against Mr Zhu by NIFCA, who manage the inshore fishery along the Northumberland and North Tyneside coastline.

Zhu was observed by NIFCA officers gathering shellfish, and when he was challenged and his catch inspected, he was found to be in possession of 17 lobsters, one of which was soft-shelled and alll of which were under-sized, in breach of the NIFCA ‘Crustacea and Mollusc, Permitting and Pot Limitation’ byelaw, which restricts catches of non-permit holders to one lobster per day.

Zhu was not represented in court. The bench took into consideration his early guilty plea, forthright apologies, and lack of understanding of fisheries legislation and in passing sentence, Mr Zhu was fined £164 and ordered to pay costs to the sum of £400 and a £30 victim surcharge.

NIFCA chief executive Mike Hardy, pictured, said: “The authority is very happy with the court’s findings and the message of support they have shown for the work we do.

"Fishing for lobsters in Northumberland is vitally important to commercial fishers and a source of great enjoyment for responsible recreational gatherers.”