A FISHERMAN has been ordered to pay out hundreds of pounds after hiding sea bass in a rubbish bin.

Simon Coglan, 47, of Sturdy Place, Hastings, was being inspected by a fisheries officer to check his haul was the correct size and tried to conceal the bass in a public bin.

At Hastings Magistrates Court Coglan was prosecuted by the Sussex Inshore Fisheries Authority and pleaded guilty to obstructing a fisheries officer.

The court was told Coglan intentionally tried to evade inspection by dumping the fish on October 11 last year.

He was given a one-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £750 in costs.

Fishing authorities had already served Coglan two penalties for illegally fishing for bass with nets from the shore and keeping fish smaller than the legal minimum size on the same day. He was fined £250 for those offences.

Sussex IFCA , which manages fishing resources to protect the marine environment and fish stocks, described Coglan’s actions as a “serious offence”.

Chief fisheries and conservation officer Tim Dapling said: “The obstruction of a fisheries officer is regarded by the authority as a serious offence. This is reflected within the law, as such an offence cannot be addressed by means of a financial penalty and requires courts to consider these offences. The authority hopes this provides a clear message that, individuals should always co-operate with fisheries officers whilst they undertake their work to protect stocks.”