The skipper of a barge has been fined £500 and more than £2,000 in costs, after pleading guilty to dumping rubbish at sea.

On the morning of 26 May this year, the barge Beta was enroute from Exmouth to Plymouth. In charge of the vessel was Mark Tamburrano, a 33-year-old restaurateur from Plymouth.

The intention was to move the barge to Plymouth for conversion into a floating fish restaurant.

As the vessel 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 in them, along with gas canisters and a chemical toilet.
The witnesses approached the barge and the dumping stopped.

Mr Tamburrano appeared before Torquay magistrates court yesterday, 10 October, where he pleaded guilty.
He was fined £500, plus £50 surcharge and full costs of £2291.31.

In summing up, the magistrate said there had been no obvious intent to dump rubbish at sea but it is obvious an offence has been committed. A fine would be imposed because of the material thrown overboard and its environmental impact 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 seafish 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.’

HM Naval Dockyard at Devonport

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