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Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006

Regulations to give effect to common fisheries policy.

14.— (1) Without prejudice to the generality of section 3(1) of the Act of 1972, the Minister may by regulations prescribe measures to give effect to any provision either of the treaties governing the European Communities or Community law which authorises any or all of the Member States of the European Communities to restrict, or otherwise regulate in respect of the common fisheries policy in a manner specified in the provision, fishing or fishing gear or equipment or buying, handling, weighing, trans-shipping, transporting, landing, processing, storing, documenting or selling fish. Such regulations may apply to any or all of the following:

(a) sea-fishing boats within the exclusive fishery limits;

(b) an Irish sea-fishing boat, wherever it may be; and

(c) any person engaged in buying, handling, weighing, trans-shipping, transporting, landing, processing, storing, documenting or selling fish within the State or the exclusive fishery limits.

(2) Regulations under this section may, in particular—

(a) prescribe measures such as—

(i) prohibitions of or restrictions on areas or times or methods of fishing or use of fishing boats or fishing gear or equipment on them,

(ii) prohibitions of or restrictions on fishing effort,

(iii) prohibitions of or restrictions on or requirements as regards the equipment of fishing boats or fishing gear, or the use, modification or maintenance or storage thereof or interference therewith,

(iv) prohibitions of or restrictions on the catching, handling, composition of catch, retention and storage on board, trans-shipment and landing of fish, including permitted—

(I) size and type of fish which may be caught, and

(II) times, locations and conditions of landings,

or such other measures as may be prescribed,

(b) impose obligations on the holder of a sea-fishing boat licence including, in particular, obligations in relation to—

(i) the catching, handling, composition of catch, retention and storage on board, trans-shipment and landing of fish, and

(ii) the taking, making and keeping of records and assisting and co-operating with any person appointed by the Department or its agencies to be on that boat,

and

(c) include such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary for the purposes of the regulations (including provisions repealing, amending or applying, with or without modification, other law, exclusive of this Act).

(3) Where there is a contravention of a regulation under this section—

(a) in relation to a sea-fishing boat or to fishing gear or equipment on board the boat, the master and owner of the boat and the owner of the fishing gear or equipment each commits an offence, or

(b) in relation to fish, the master and owner of the boat concerned and the buyer, handler, weigher, transporter, processor, person storing or documenting and seller of the fish each commits an offence.

(4) In any proceedings for an offence under this section it shall be for the accused to show (as the case may be)—

(a) entitlement to any exemption or relief from any prohibition or restriction or requirement alleged to have been contravened, or

(b) that in the circumstances it was not possible to know or not reasonable to ascertain that a regulation was being contravened.