Fish plant penalised €45,000 for tampering with weighing scales

Director of Killybegs-based Norfish Ltd given six-month suspended prison sentence

Norfish Ltd was given three months to pay a €25,000 fine. Photograph: iStock

Norfish Ltd was given three months to pay a €25,000 fine. Photograph: iStock

 

A Donegal fish-processing plant which was found to be tampering with its weighing scales has been penalised a total of €45,000.

Killybegs based Norfish Ltd and director Tony Byrne were convicted at Donegal Circuit Court.

Byrne, of Roshin Road, Killybegs, was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay €10,000 to a local hospice and a further €10,000 to the Donegal Branch of the RNLI.

Norfish Ltd was given three months to pay a €25,000 fine.

This prosecution followed a joint investigation by the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Agency.

They found an electrical switch fitted to the company’s flow scales used to weigh incoming fish catches. It 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, the NSAI said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Today’s outcome recognises the seriousness of the offence. We take non-compliance in any sector, whether it’s the fisheries sector or any other sector covered under our legislation, very seriously,” said NSAI head of legal metrology Paul Turner.

“We will continue to be very vigilant in this sector and if we find any further non-compliance in this area, we will use the full powers of the legislation available to us to deal effectively with it.”