NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Black fish case: Skipper found throwing fish back 'repugnant'

A Shetland fishing skipper got involved in a major black fish scam as he could not bear to throw dead fish back, it has been claimed.

Fishermen have been appearing at the High Court in Edinburgh this week over the illegal landings worth tens of millions of pounds.

George Anderson, 55, found ditching under-sized herring and mackerel "repugnant", the court heard.

Judge Lord Turnbull is expected to sentence the fishermen in February.

The 17 fishermen are facing heavy fines for breaching European Union quotas at the Lerwick-based processing plant Shetland Catch Ltd.

Deep regret

Anderson's defence counsel Mark Moir said of dumping fish: "Anderson found this a repugnant activity and didn't do so.

"As a result of that, what he found himself doing was arriving back at dock with excess fish he had caught.

"I do not suggest that lessens the seriousness of what Anderson has done or in any way say that exculpates him."

He described Anderson as a respected member of the fishing community who deeply regretted becoming involved.

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