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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Bournemouth restaurant owner fined for illegal fishing

Bournemouth restaurant owner fined for illegal fishing

Media captionThe men landed a bucket of sea bass in the early hours of the morning

A restaurant owner and his friend have been fined for illegal fishing after they were filmed at night by an angler.

Steve Cullen confronted three men who had a bucket of juvenile sea bass in Poole, Dorset, in August 2018.

Tran Doan, 37, the owner of Eat Pho Vietnamese restaurant in Bournemouth, and Tran Hoang, 41, of Thatcham, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to two charges at Poole Magistrates’ Court.

They were each fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,500 court costs.

Image copyright
Steve Cullen

Image caption

Tran Doan (left) and Tran Hoang were caught on camera near Poole Harbour

Mr Cullen was awoken by the men while sleeping in his car at Rockley Park, Hamworthy, in the early hours of 26 August 2018.

He said he “saw red and slung the bucket of fish back in the water”, shouting “It’s bass, what do you think you’re doing?” in a video he posted on Facebook.

He filmed one of the men leaving in a vehicle with the words “Eat Pho. Traditional Vietnamese Rice Noodle Soup” on the side.

On Thursday, the two men pleaded guilty to removing bass from the Poole Harbour nursery area during the sensitive summer months.

They also admitted taking bass below minimum size.

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Steve Cullen / Facebook

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Steve Cullen said he “saw red” and threw their bucket of fish into the sea

Magistrates heard 40kg of fish were landed but there was no evidence of any of it being sold through the restaurant.

Southern Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (SIFCA), which brought the case, said Poole Harbour was an “important refuge” for juvenile bass.

SIFCA member and Poole councillor Ray Tindle said: “Protection in the harbour allows them to grow and replenish the seriously depleted stocks.”

In August, a Facebook post, apparently from Mr Doan, apologised for his actions.

It said he was fishing to “relax after a stressful few weeks” and that bass was not on the restaurant’s menu.

The BBC has tried to contact the restaurant owner, of Northcote Road, Bournemouth, for comment.

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Image caption

A Facebook post apologised for breaking a fishing ban

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