Prosecution of Dutch Ships Following Contraventions at Belgian Wind Farm

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Windmills Thorntonbank
18/11/2014
Prosecution of Dutch Ships Following Contraventions at Belgian Wind Farm
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There have been several recent infringements by Dutch fishermen in Belgian wind farm zones, where it is forbidden to sail and fish. Belgium cannot enforce sanctions on these fishermen because the matter falls under the competence of the flag state.

The Belgian Directorate General for Mobility therefore took the initiative, in collaboration with the Waterways Police, to draw up a document for the competent services of the Dutch Disciplinary Tribunal for Shipping. The document in question is related to contraventions by the ship Arnemuiden 22, which had fished in the wind farm zone on several occasions. On 5 November 2014 the skipper was sentenced: a conditional suspension of the navigation licence with a probationary period of 2 years and a fine of 4,000 euros, half of which is conditional.

This conviction demonstrates that infringements by Dutch skippers in Belgian territory can be prosecuted and convicted. This is why it is important to report and keep a record of all contraventions. Reports come in from the wind farm operators themselves and from operators aboard our airplane OO-MMM and other government vessels. Contraventions by Belgian skippers can be prosecuted in the same way by the Belgian Shipping Board. However, for the time being, no Belgian contraventions have been reported.

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