Posted: Tue 31st May 2022

St Helens man fined £4000 for illegal cockle poaching in Dee Estuary

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 31st, 2022


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A man from St Helens has been found guilty of cockle poaching offences at Mold Magistrates Court and ordered to pay over £4,000 in fines and costs.

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) prosecuted Kevin Brennan after patrols and checks by NRW Officers found the suspect had illegally harvested cockle on the Dee Estuary.

The offences took place across four dates in September 2021 when a total weight of 1210kg cockles were taken from the River Dee

The estimated value of the illegal harvest was between £3,630 and £4,235.

An NRW Officer was initially alerted during document checks at Kingfisher Seafoods yard, Drome Road, Deeside.

Mr Brennan was invited for an Interview, which he attended on 21 November 2021, where he admitted illegally harvesting Dee Estuary Cockle on all four occasions.

On Tuesday 24 May at Mold Magistrates Court, Mr Brennan pleaded guilty to all four charges of fishing for shellfish, namely Cockles without a licence, contrary to Section 3(3) Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967.

David Powell, Natural Resources Wales Operations Manager for the North East, said:

“This proactive investigation perfectly demonstrates how NRW, whilst working closely with North Wales Police, can prosecute individuals who operate illegally.”

“With over £4,000 handed out in fines and costs, a clear message has been sent to any potential offenders caught illegally harvesting cockles on the Dee Estuary.”

“A lot of time and effort is spent managing the Dee Estuary cockle stock and calculating the amount available for valid licence holders.”

“Illegal harvesting has a direct consequence on the Fishery and those who rely on its sustainability for their livelihoods.”

“This is our second recent successful cockle enforcement case on the Dee Estuary, which further highlights the outstanding work undertaken by NRW Enforcement Officers across North East Wales.”

The Dee Estuary Cockle Fishery is an NRW managed Fishery which provides an income for 54 Licence holders and a valuable food source for birds and other marine life.

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