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Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006

National regulatory measures to supplement common fisheries policy.

15.— (1) The Minister may to supplement the common fisheries policy, as he or she thinks proper, by regulations prescribe measures for the purpose of protecting, conserving or allowing the sustainable exploitation of fish or the rational management of fisheries that restrict, or otherwise regulate, fishing or fishing gear or equipment or the buying, handling, weighing, trans-shipping, transporting, landing, processing, storing, documenting or selling of fish. Such regulations may apply to any or all of the following:

(a) fishing boats within the exclusive fishery limits or internal waters;

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

(c) any person engaged in buying, handling, weighing, trans-shipping, transporting, landing, processing, storing, documenting or selling of fish; and

(d) nets and their usage during any time or season or at any place within the exclusive fishery limits or internal waters.

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

(a) prescribe such measures as—

(i) prohibitions of or restrictions on areas or times or methods of fishing or use of sea-fishing boats 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 species which may be caught, and

(II) times, locations and conditions of landings,

(v) permitted by a Community Regulation which the State may take in relation to an Irish sea-fishing boat or to a sea-fishing boat within the exclusive fishery limits or may apply to a buyer, handler, seller, weigher, transporter or processor of fish which supplement or go beyond a Community Regulation or other European Community law, but are compatible with Community law and in conformity with the common fisheries policy,

or

(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 or co-operating with any person appointed by the Department or its agencies to be on that boat,

or

(c) include such incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary for the purposes of the regulations.

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

(a) in relation to a 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.

(5) In this section “ internal waters ” means the internal waters of the State (within the meaning of section 86 ).