33 1937

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Number 33 of 1937.


SEA FISHERIES (PROTECTION OF IMMATURE FISH) ACT, 1937.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Definitions.

2.

Under-sized fish.

3.

Restriction on carriage of fishing nets on board sea-fishing boats.

4.

Restriction on carriage of devices for obstructing meshes of net.

5.

Prohibition of having in possession for sale on board sea-fishing boats undersized sea-fish.

6.

Prohibition on landing, selling, etc., undersized sea-fish.

7.

Exemptions for scientific purposes.

8.

Application of certain provisions of the Sea Fisheries Protection Act, 1933.

9.

Powers of inspection, examination and detention of fish, etc.

10.

Disposal of nets and devices forfeited.

11.

Provisions in relation to orders.

12.

Offences by bodies corporate.

13.

Saving for Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935.

14.

Extension of meaning of fish in Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935.

15.

Expenses.

16.

Short title and collective citation.


Act Referred to

Sea Fisheries Protection Act, 1933

No. 53 of 1933

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Number 33 of 1937.


SEA FISHERIES (PROTECTION Of IMMATURE FISH) ACT, 1937.


AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION OF SMALL AND IMMATURE SEA-FISH FROM CAPTURE AND DESTRUCTION, AND TO PROVIDE FOR OTHER MATTERS CONNECTED WITH THE MATTERS AFORESAID. [25th November, 1937.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORSTÁT EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

Definitions.

1. —In this Act—

the expression “the Minister” means the Minister for Agriculture;

the expression “sea-fish” means fish of any kind (except salmon and fresh water eels) found in the sea and whether fresh or in other condition, and includes crustaceans and molluscs found in the sea;

the word “net” means any trawl, seine or other net towed or hauled, or intended to be towed or hauled, on or near the bottom of the sea;

the expression “sea-fishing” means fishing for or taking sea-fish in tidal waters;

the expression “sea-fishing boat” means any ship, boat or other vessel of whatsoever kind used for sea-fishing, and includes any vessel or boat used for the treatment of fish or partly or wholly for the transport of fish;

the expression “Saorstát Eireann sea-fishing boat” means a sea-fishing boat which is either—

(a) a boat registered in Saorstát Eireann under the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1894 to 1933, or

(b) a boat the owner, or, if there is more than one owner, the managing owner of which resides or has his principal place of business in Saorstát Eireann;

the expression “the exclusive fishery limits of Saorstát Eireann” means that portion of the seas within which citizens of Saorstát Eireann have, by international law, the exclusive right of fishing, and, where such portion is defined by the terms of any convention, treaty or arrangement for the time being in force made between Saorstát Eireann and any other State, includes as regards the ships and subjects of such State the portion so defined;

the expression “the master” when used in relation to a sea-fishing boat means the master, skipper or other person for the time being in charge of such boat;

the expression “sea fisheries protection officer” means a person who is a sea fisheries protection officer for the purposes of the Sea Fisheries Protection Act, 1933 (No. 53 of 1933).

Under-sized fish.

2. —(1) The Minister may, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, by order declare that any specified kind of sea-fish which, when measured in the manner directed by such order, is less in dimension than the specified measurements, shall be, for the purposes of this Act, undersized, and whenever any order is made under this section in relation to any particular kind of sea-fish, then, so long as such order is in force, every sea-fish of that kind which is less in dimension than the specified measurements shall be, for the purposes of this Act, undersized.

(2) An order made under this section in relation to sea-fish of a particular kind may specify different lengths in relation to such sea-fish which are either whole or have any parts removed.

(3) An order under this section may relate to different kinds of sea-fish and in that case may contain different provisions in relation to each kind of sea-fish to which the order relates.

Restriction on carriage of fishing nets on board sea-fishing boats.

3. —(1) The Minister may, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, by order declare it to be unlawful to carry, on board any Saorstát Eireann sea-fishing boat in a specified area or on board any other sea-fishing boat in so much (if any) of that area as is within the exclusive fishery limits of Saorstát Eireann, any net for sea-fishing which is not constructed in such manner and has not a mesh of at least such size as may be specified in such order.

(2) An order under this section—

(a) may relate to more than one area, and in that case may contain different provisions in respect of each area to which it relates;

(b) may specify different modes of construction and different minimum sizes of mesh for fishing for different kinds of sea-fish, for different methods of fishing, for fishing in different areas and for fishing during different periods;

(c) may direct the manner in which the minimum sizes of mesh specified in such order are to be measured for the purposes of such order;

(d) may, in the case of any class of nets, specify different minimum sizes for the mesh of the nets when dry or wet and before or after treatment with preservatives.

(3) If, whenever an order under this section is in force, any net is carried on board any sea-fishing vessel in contravention of such order, each of the following persons, namely, the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) of such boat, shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section the court shall order the net, the carriage whereof constituted such offence, to be forfeited.

Restriction on carriage of devices for obstructing meshes of net.

4. —(1) It shall not be lawful to carry, on board any Saorstát Eireann sea-fishing boat anywhere or on board any other sea-fishing boat within the exclusive fishery limits of Saorstát Eireann, any device by means of which the mesh of any part of a net then carried on board such boat could be obstructed or otherwise in effect diminished.

(2) If any device is carried on board a sea-fishing boat in contravention of this section, each of the following persons, namely, the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) of such boat, shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section the court shall order the device, the carriage whereof constituted such offence, and any net to which the device is attached, to be forfeited.

Prohibition of having in possession for sale on board sea-fishing boats undersized sea-fish.

5. —(1) It shall not be lawful to have in possession for the purposes of sale, on board any Saorstát Eireann sea-fishing boat anywhere or on board any other sea-fishing boat within the exclusive fishery limits of Saorstát Eireann, any undersized sea-fish.

(2) If there is a contravention on board any sea-fishing boat of this section, each of the following persons, namely, the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) of such boat shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section the court shall order the sea-fish, the possession whereof constituted such offence, to be destroyed unless such sea-fish have been previously destroyed.

(4) In any proceedings under this section the possession of any sea-fish on board a sea-fishing boat shall be prima facie evidence of possession of such sea-fish for the purposes of sale.

Prohibition on landing, selling, etc., undersized sea-fish.

6. —(1) It shall not be lawful for any person to land, sell, expose for sale, or have in possession for the purposes of sale any undersized sea-fish.

(2) If any person acts in contravention of this section such person shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.

(3) Where a person is convicted of an offence under this section, the court shall order the sea-fish, the possession whereof constituted such offence, to be destroyed unless such fish have been previously destroyed.

(4) For the purposes of any proceedings under this section—

(a) the possession of sea-fish by any person in any market or shop or by any licensed hawker anywhere shall be prima facie evidence of possession for the purposes of sale;

(b) any sea-fish found in the possession of any person on or near the sea coast shall, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, be deemed to have been landed by such person.

Exemptions for scientific purposes.

7. —The Minister may, whenever and so often as he thinks fit, by certificate in writing and subject to such conditions as he thinks fit and specifies in such certificate, authorise any person (including the employees of such person acting under his directions) to do during a specified period, for scientific purposes or for the purposes of transplantation, any one or more of the things prohibited by any of the preceding provisions of this Act, and whenever any such certificate is granted to any person it shall, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, be lawful for such person and (if the certificate so provides) any employees of such person acting under his directions to do all or any of the things which he is authorised by such certificate to do.

Application of certain provisions of the Sea Fisheries Protection Act, 1933 .

8. —(1) A sea fisheries protection officer shall, for the purposes of enforcing this Act and any order made thereunder, have with respect to any sea-fishing boat and the owner, master or crew thereof the like powers as are conferred upon a sea fisheries protection officer by sub-section (1) of section 7 of the Sea Fisheries Protection Act, 1933 (No. 53 of 1933), for the purposes of enforcing the said last-mentioned Act, and sub-sections (2) and (3) of the said section 7 and section 8 of the said last-mentioned Act shall apply accordingly.

(2) Sections 11 , 12 , 13 and 16 of the Sea Fisheries Protection Act, 1933 , shall apply in respect of an offence under any section of this Act in like manner as they apply in respect of an offence under any section of such first-mentioned Act.

Powers of inspection, examination and detention of fish, etc.

9. —(1) Every sea fisheries protection officer is hereby authorised and empowered to do all or any of the following things, that is to say:—

(a) to stop and search any person conveying or believed to be conveying sea-fish of any kind and to inspect any sea-fish which such person is found to be conveying and for that purpose to open and search any vehicle or package in which such sea-fish is or may be or is believed to be conveyed;

(b) at all reasonable times to enter upon and have free access to the interior of—

(i) any premises in which fish is or is believed to be sold, or kept, exposed, or stored for sale, or

(ii) the premises of any person engaged in the business of carrying goods for reward, or

(iii) any pier, quay, wharf, jetty, dock or dock premises, or

(iv) any ship, boat, railway waggon, lorry, cart, or other vessel or vehicle used for the conveyance of goods;

(c) to examine all sea-fish found in any place which he is authorised by this section to enter and for that purpose to open any package found in such place and containing or believed to contain sea-fish;

(d) to stop, enter, and search, on any part of the sea or the shores thereof, any boat, barge, corach, or other vessel used or believed to be used for fishing or containing or suspected of containing undersized sea-fish, and to examine all fish and all nets and other instruments used in fishing found therein, and for that purpose to open any package which contains or is suspected of containing any fish, nets, or other instruments as aforesaid;

(e) to take, remove, and detain in his custody any sea-fish (either together with or without any package in which the same may be contained) found in the course of the exercise of any of the powers conferred by this section in respect of which an offence under this Act is being or is suspected of being committed;

(f) to take, remove, and detain in his custody any net or other instrument used in fishing or any article which is liable or is believed to be liable to forfeiture under this Act;

(g) to demand and take the name and address of the person having custody of any sea-fish or other article which he is authorised under this section to examine, and also to demand and take from such person the name and address of the owner of such sea-fish or other article.

(2) When a sea fisheries protection officer detains in his custody under the authority of this section any sea-fish or other article, he shall as soon as conveniently may be take such steps as may be proper to have the person guilty or believed to be guilty of the offence committed or believed to have been committed in relation to such sea-fish or other article dealt with according to law.

(3) Where a sea fisheries protection officer detains in his custody under the authority of this section any sea-fish and such sea-fish is likely to become unfit for human food before the matter can conveniently be dealt with by any court, he shall produce such sea-fish to a Peace Commissioner, and if authorised so to do by such Peace Commissioner shall destroy such sea-fish.

(4) A Peace Commissioner to whom any sea-fish is produced in pursuance of this section shall, if he is of opinion that the sea-fish ought in the circumstances to be destroyed, give to the sea fisheries protection officer producing the sea-fish a certificate in writing describing the sea-fish and any marks, peculiarities, or other particulars thereof pointed out to him by such officer and authorising such officer to destroy the sea-fish, which certificate shall be conclusive evidence in every court of all such matters of fact as aforesaid stated therein.

(5) No person shall be liable for any loss or damage occasioned by or in the course of the exercise of any of the powers conferred on him by this section unless such loss or damage was caused by such person wantonly or maliciously.

(6) Every person—

(a) who obstructs or impedes any sea fisheries protection officer in the exercise of any of the powers conferred on such officer by this section, or

(b) who, when his name and address is lawfully demanded of him by a sea fisheries protection officer under this section, refuses or fails to give his name and address or gives a name or address which is false or misleading, or

(c) who, when the name and address of any other person is lawfully demanded of him by a sea fisheries protection officer under this section, refuses or fails, knowing such name and address, to give such name or address or gives a name or address which is false or misleading

shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten pounds, or at the discretion of the court, to imprisonment for any term not exceeding two months.

(7) If any person whose name and address is lawfully demanded by a sea fisheries protection officer under this section refuses to give his name and address or gives, as his name or address, a name or address which is reasonably believed by such officer to be false or misleading, such officer may, without warrant, arrest such person and, in that case, shall as soon as may be bring him before a justice of the District Court or, where no such justice is immediately available, a Peace Commissioner, and thereupon such justice or Peace Commissioner shall deal with such person according to law.

Disposal of nets and devices forfeited.

10. —When any net or device is forfeited by a court under this Act such net or device shall be disposed of by the Minister in such manner as he thinks fit, and any moneys arising on any such disposal shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.

Provisions in relation to orders.

11. —(1) The Minister may by order revoke or amend any order made by him under this Act (including this sub-section).

(2) Every order made by the Minister under this Act (including this section) shall—

(a) be published in the Iris Oifigiúil as soon as may be after it is made, and

(b) shall specify the date (not being earlier than fourteen days after the publication thereof in the Iris Oifigiúil) on which such order is to come into force.

Offences by bodies corporate.

12. —Where an offence under any section of this Act was committed by a body corporate and is proved to have been so committed with the consent or approval of, or to have been facilitated by any neglect on the part of, any director, manager, secretary or other officer of such body corporate, such director, manager, secretary or other officer shall also be deemed to be guilty of such offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.

Saving for Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935.

13. —Nothing in this Act shall be construed as limiting or affecting in any way the operation of the Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935.

Extension of meaning of fish in Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935.

14. —The word “fish” where it occurs in the Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935, shall be construed as including all crustaceans and molluscs found in the sea.

Expenses.

15. —All expenses of carrying this Act into execution shall, to such extent as shall be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Short title and collective citation.

16. —This Act may be cited as the Sea Fisheries (Protection of Immature Fish) Act, 1937, and the Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1935, and this Act may be cited together as the Fisheries Acts, 1842 to 1937.