A Donegal Fish Processing Plant that tampered with weighing scales for catches has featured in an inspection report published today by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI).
Today’s annual inspection report details how fish company Norfish Ltd, based in Killybegs, and director Tony Byrne were fined €45,000 at Donegal Circuit Court in March 2017.
The illegal measurement practices were discovered by the NSAI Legal Metrology in a joint investigation with the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA).
The inspection carried out by NSAI’s Legal Metrology division found that an electrical switch had been fitted to the company’s flow scales used to weigh incoming fish catches. This switch 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.
Mr. Byrne of Roshin Rd in Killybegs was given a six-month suspended prison sentence and ordered to pay €10,000 to a local hospice in Killybegs, and a further €10,000 to the Donegal Branch of the RNLI. Norfish Ltd was given three months to pay a €25,000 fine.
NSAI’s 2017 Annual Report reveals that its Legal Metrology division inspected 14,763 measuring instruments used in trade last year, including 7,692 petrol and diesel pumps. Of those inspected, 270 were found to be dispensing fuel inaccurately and warnings were issued.
1,490 guidelines were published by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) last year in areas such as construction, medical devices, technology and food. 1,422 experts are involved in standards-making in Ireland, up 353 on 2016.
Commenting on the publication of the Annual Report, Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD said:
“As the global language of business, standards are crucial in today’s fast-paced and competitive marketplace. I would encourage anyone who is keen to shape the future of an industry, service or product to get involved with NSAI’s standards development committees and have their say on the evolution of their sector, both at home and abroad.”
“The NSAI also continues to play a critical role in proving assurance to consumers that the various measurement instruments they come into contact with on a daily basis are accurate. In 2017, the NSAI inspected over 14,000 instruments including taxi meters, petrol pumps and supermarket scales. It’s through the NSAI that consumers can rely on and have confidence in measurement in trade.”