A Donegal fish processing plant and a company director have been fined €45,000 in total for tampering with weighing scales used to measure incoming fish catches.
This follows a joint investigation carried out by NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) and the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA).
Norfish Ltd, based in Killybegs, and director Tony Byrne, were handed down the sentence today at Donegal Circuit Court.
The inspection carried out by NSAI’s Legal Metrology division found that an electrical switch had been fitted to the company’s flow scales used to weigh incoming fish catches.
This switch could be used to turn off the scales, allowing the fish to pass over without being weighed.
Tampering with measuring instruments used in trade and rendering them inaccurate as a result is an offence under the Legal Metrology Act 1996.
Welcoming today’s sentencing at Donegal Circuit Court, NSAI’s Head of Legal Metrology, Paul Turner, said it is important to encourage high measurement compliance in trading transactions to support a fair and competitive environment for businesses and protect consumers.
Mr. Byrne of Roshin Rd in Killybegs was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay €10,000 to a local hospice in Killybegs, and a further €10,000 to the Donegal Branch of the RNLI.
Norfish Ltd was given three months to pay a €25,000 fine.