Spanish fishing skipper returned for trial for alleged breaches of EU fishing laws off Irish coast

Pesorsa Dos boarded by Irish fisheries protection officials and detained at Castletownbere

A Spanish fishing captain has been returned for trial after he was charged with a total of 12 fishing offences relating to his German registered trawler which was detained by the Irish Naval Service for alleged breaches of EU fishing regulations in Irish waters.

Juan Pablo Docal Rubido (55) with an address at Ciudad de Lugo 5, Third Floor, Coruna, Spain, was brought before a special sitting of Bandon District Court on Saturday following the detention of the Pesorsa Dos by the LE George Bernard Shaw for alleged fishing offences in Irish waters.

Mr Rubido, whose vessel is Spanish owned and fishes out of La Coruna but is currently detained at Castletownbere, was charged with a total of 12 fishing offences on various dates between January 5th and January 24th while fishing within the exclusive fishing limits of the State.

He was charged with two logbook offences of failing to record the proper depth that his vessel was fishing at and with failing to record the proper soak times or times that he allowed his nets to stay in the water while fishing with Irish exclusive fishing limits.


He was also charged with a total of nine separate offences of allowing his nets to exceed the permitted soak times of 72 hours allowed for the gear while fishing within the exclusive fishing limits of the State, contrary to Section 14 of the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006.

Mr Rubido was charged with a 12th count of failing to facilitate the safe and effective boarding of Pesorsa Dos by Irish fishery protection officials on January 23rd, in that the boarding ladder broke while being used by officials for the purpose of boarding to inspect his vessel.

Garda Geraldine O’Sullivan of Castletownbere Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution and told how she had arrested Mr Rubido at Deenish Pier in Castletownbere at 11.10am on January 28th and he made no reply to any of the 12 charges when she put them to him after caution.

Acting State Solicitor for West Cork, Jerry Healy, said that Garda O’Sullivan had served a book of evidence in the case on Mr Rubido outside court and that the DPP had directed trial by indictment. and he was seeking a return to the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court on January 31st.

Mr Healy said that the State had no objection to Mr Rubido being released on bail pending his trial, but he said that he was making two separate applications seeking to extend the detention of his vessel Pesorsa Dos at Castletownbere.

Mr Healy first applied to have the Pesorsa Dos detained indefinitely at Castletownbere and he then applied to have it detained until a bond for €245,000 to cover the cost of the catch, gear, potential fines and legal costs, were lodged with the court by boat’s owners.

Defence solicitor, Dermot Conway said that this matter had been agreed with his client and he formally applied for bail which Judge Colm Roberts granted on Mr Rubido’s own bond of €5,000. “We have to make sure people realise how serious these matters are,” he said.

Judge Roberts then returned the accused for trial to the Cork County call over of the next sittings of Cork Circuit Criminal Court, starting on January 31st next. Mr Rubido, who was assisted throughout proceedings by an interpreter, did not speak during the brief hearing.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times