Barge skipper must pay £2,800 after dumping rubbish at sea

PUBLISHED: 09:23 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 09:23 13 October 2016

Archant

The skipper of a barge en-route from Exmouth has been fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of more than £2,000, after pleading guilty to dumping rubbish at sea.

On the morning of May 26 this year, the barge Beta was travelling from Exmouth to Plymouth when it passed close to Torquay Bay.

Witnesses from the Food Standards Agency and local environment health department, who were visiting shell beds nearby, saw rubbish being thrown from the barge.

This included a number of bin bags with plastic inside them, along with gas canisters and a chemical toilet.

The witnesses approached the barge and the dumping stopped.

In charge of the vessel was Mark Tamburrano, a 33-year-old restaurateur from Plymouth. The barge was being moved to Plymouth for conversion into a floating fish restaurant.

Tamburrano appeared before Torquay Magistrates’ Court, where he pleaded guilty to charges brought by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

He was fined £500, plus £50 surcharge and full costs of £2,291.

In summing up, magistrates said there had been no obvious intent to dump rubbish at sea, but it was obvious an offence has been committed, adding a fine would be imposed because of the environmental impact of the material thrown overboard on local fishing, as well as its proximity to the coast.

Tony Heslop, MCA surveyor operations manager, said: “The law is very clear and there for a purpose – the protection of the marine environment.

“What makes this case worse is that this was a sea fish restaurant owner throwing rubbish overboard so close to the shellfish beds and beaches of Torquay.

“Such behaviour is always unacceptable and it is the duty for those who make their living from the sea to protect it.”

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