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Two guilty of Cockling Offences at Flookburgh

Morecambe Bay

Two men have been found guilty of going equipped to gather cockles without a permit at the Flookburgh cockle bed in Cumbria.

On 14th October at Liverpool Magistrates, Mr Lee Harmes of Birchridge, Flint and Mr Hayden Russell of Maxwell Close, Buckley were found guilty in absence of going equipped to gather cockles without a permit.

On 25th September 2019 Inshore Fishery and Conservation officers stopped Mr Harmes and Mr Russell in an all-terrain vehicle at the Flookburgh cockle fishery, approximately two miles from shore.

They were found to be in possession of equipment for commercial cockle picking without a permit in contravention of NWIFCA Byelaw 3. Upon questioning by officers Mr Harmes provided officers with a false name and address.

Mr Harmes was fined £5,000 for the breach of NWIFCA Byelaw 3 and £500 for providing false details. Mr Russell was fined £5,000 for breach of NWIFCA Byelaw 3. Both were ordered to pay costs of £1,050 and a victim surcharge of £181.

Joseph Moulton Head of Enforcement at NWIFCA said: “We welcome the high level of fines given and feel it reflects the seriousness of this case. Cockle poaching undermines the sustainability of the fishery and the livelihoods of legitimate fishers who rely on the fishery to make a living.”

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