Ship worker and director fined €1,200 and €2,000 over minor irregularities
An Egyptian man who works on fishing vessel, together with the company director of that vessel, have been slapped with a €1,200 and €2,000 fine respectively in connection with a number of regulatory breaches such as failing to ensure the correct markings are displayed on the vessel.
The Egyption man, Ahmed Said Abdellativ Mohammed Hemdia Elsakka has been acquitted of not having the proper credentials to captain a ship, after the courts found there was no proof that he was acting as captain, and was also acquitted of passing on false information to authorities. He was, however, found guilty over failing to ensure that the fishing vessel's fishing gear, vessel monitoring system, vessel detection system and the automatic identification system, was in conformity with the European Council rules governing the common fisheries policy. The court held that the Mr Elsakka was to bear the sole responsibility for this omission.
One last charge related to not lowering the embarkation ladder fast enough when the Armed Forces of Malta approached the Maltese-flagged fishing vessel Rosnik. Mr Debono was found guilty of failing to ensure that the vessel had the correct markings displayed. Magistrate Joe Mifsud, presiding over the case, found that the irregularities were not carried out under malicious or misleading intentions. In fact, it was the name on the ship, embossed on the side, which was not painted with a contrasting colour from the rest of the ship. This meant that the name was barely legible.
The pair were originally arraigned in August of this year. Representing the accused, lawyer Robert Moltanto had argued that the charges were not significant and at best dealt with minor regulatory infringements. He requested that the vessel be released to its owners immediately.
Magistrate Mifsud, in his judgment, ordered the vessel to be released and observed that the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, as part of its duties, is to carry out inspections on vessels before it can renew fishing licences. He added that it would have been more useful had the department provided the vessel in question time to remedy the irregularities.