Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 2003

Publication Date:January 01, 2003
 
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FISHERIES (AMENDMENT) ACT 2003

2003 Number 21

AN ACT TO ENABLE EFFECT TO BE GIVEN TO THE UNITED NATIONS AGREEMENT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA OF 10 DECEMBER 1982 RELATING TO THE CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT OF STRADDLING FISH STOCKS AND HIGHLY MIGRATORY FISH STOCKS, TO PROVIDE FOR AN INDEPENDENT APPEALS SYSTEM IN RELATION TO THE LICENSING OF SEA-FISHING BOATS, TO AMEND AND EXTEND THE FORESHORE ACT 1933, THE FISHERIES ACTS 1959 TO 2001 AND THE MERCHANT SHIPPING (CERTIFICATION OF SEAMEN) ACT 1979, AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS.

[1st July 2003.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

1 Preliminary and General

PART 1

Preliminary and General

S-1 Short title, collective citation and construction.

1 Short title, collective citation and construction.

(1) This Act may be cited as the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 2003 .

(2) The Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2001 and this Act (other than section 32 and section 2 in so far as it relates to section 32 ) may be cited together as the Fisheries Acts 1959 to 2003 and shall be construed together as one.

(3) The Foreshore Acts 1933 to 1998, section 32 and section 2 in so far as it relates to section 32 , may be cited together as the Foreshore Acts 1933 to 2003 and shall be construed together as one.

S-2 Interpretation.

2 Interpretation.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

"Act of 1983" means Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1983;

"Act of 1994" means Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1994;

"appeal" means an appeal under section 7 ;

"Appeals Officer" means a person appointed under section 6 as an Appeals Officer for the purposes of Part 3 of this Act;

"licence" in Parts 2 and 3 of this Act, means a sea-fishing boat licence granted under section 222B(3) of the Principal Act;

"licensing authority" has the meaning assigned to it by section 3 ;

"local authority" has the meaning assigned to it by the Local Government Act 2001 ;

"Minister" means the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources;

"Principal Act" means Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959.

(2) In this Act—

(a) a reference to any enactment shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended or extended by or under any subsequent enactment including this Act when enacted,

(b) a reference to a section or Schedule is a reference to a section of, or Schedule to, this Act unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended,

(c) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is a reference to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.

2 Licensing of Sea-Fishing Boats and Certain Sea-Fishing

PART 2

Licensing of Sea-Fishing Boats and Certain Sea-Fishing

S-3 Licensing authority.

3 Licensing authority.

(1) The licensing authority in relation to sea-fishing boats shall be—

(a) the Registrar General of Fishing Boats, or

(b) acting under the superintendence of the Registrar General of Fishing Boats, the Deputy Registrar General of Fishing Boats.

(2) The licensing authority shall be independent in the exercise of his or her functions under this Part subject to—

(a) the law for the time being in force in relation to sea-fishing boat licensing, including, in particular, the legal obligations of the State arising under any law of an institution of the European Communities or other international agreement which is binding on the State, and

(b) such policy directives in relation to sea-fishing boat licensing as the Minister may give in writing from time to time.

(3) A policy directive given under subsection (2)(b) may require certain prohibitions or conditions to be imposed in relation to sea-fishing for the purposes of protecting, conserving or allowing the sustainable exploitation of living marine aquatic species.

(4) Where the Minister gives a policy directive under subsection (2)(b), a notice of such directive and details of it (including reasons for giving the directive) shall, as soon as practicable after the directive is given, be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and published in Iris Oifigiil.

(5) Subsection (2)(b) shall not be construed as enabling the Minister to exercise any power or control in relation to any particular case or group of cases with which the licensing authority is or may be concerned.

(6) (a) The licensing authority shall—

(i) maintain a register of licences (which shall be known as the Register of Sea-fishing Boat Licences) in electronic form capable of being read in legible form and satisfying the requirements from time to time of any law of an institution of the European Communities, and

(ii) give to the Minister such information relating to the performance of the functions of the licensing authority as the Minister may from time to time request.

(b) The licensing authority may, on his or her own initiative, or at the request of the Minister, make submissions or recommendations to the Minister on any matter relating to the functions of the licensing authority or to licensing under section 222B of the Principal Act.

(7) The licensing authority shall, as soon as practicable but not later than 6 months after the end of each financial year, report to the Minister on the performance of the functions of the licensing authority in that year and the Minister shall cause copies of the report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(8) The licensing authority shall cause to be published by electronic means capable of being read in legible form details of—

(a) all applications for licences received after 1 January 2003,

(b) all decisions made after 1 January 2003 on any such application or to amend or revoke a licence.

(9) (a) Anything commenced before the passing of this Act by or under the authority of the Minister under section 222B(3) of the Principal Act may be carried on or completed on or after such passing by the licensing authority.

(b) Every licence granted by or under the authority of the Minister which is in force immediately before the passing of this Act shall be deemed to have been granted by the licensing authority under section 222B(3) (inserted by section 4 ) and references to the Minister in any such licence shall after the passing of this Act be construed as a reference to the licensing authority.

(10) In this section, "the Registrar General of Fishing Boats" and "the Deputy Registrar General of Fishing Boats" mean, respectively, the Registrar General of Fishing Boats and the Deputy Registrar General of Fishing Boats appointed under Regulation 5 of the Merchant Shipping (Registry, Lettering and Numbering of Fishing Boats) Regulations 1997 ( S.I. No. 294 of 1997 ).

S-4 Sea-fishing boat licences.

4 Sea-fishing boat licences.

4.—The Principal Act is amended by the substitution for section 222B (inserted by section 2 of the Act of 1983 and amended by sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Act of 1994) of the following:

"Sea-fishing boat licences.

222B.—(1) This section applies to any sea-fishing boat which is—

(a) a fishing boat within the meaning of Part IV of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 and which—

(i) is entered in the Register of Fishing Boats,

(ii) is required by section 373 (as amended by the Act of 1983) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 to be so entered, or

(iii) but for the passing of the Act of 1983 would, by the said section 373, be required to be so entered,

or

(b) a ship which—

(i) is registered under the Mercantile Marine Act 1955 ,

(ii) is required by section 18 (as amended by the Act of 1983) of the Mercantile Marine Act 1955 to be so registered,

(iii) but for section 8(1) of the Act of 1983 would be required to be or might be so registered, or

(iv) may be so registered.

(2) A sea-fishing boat to which this section applies shall not be used for sea-fishing (whether within the exclusive fishery limits of the State or otherwise) nor shall a person on board such a boat fish for sea-fish or attempt so to fish, save under and in accordance with a licence ('sea-fishing boat licence') granted for the purposes of this section and in relation to the boat by the licensing authority.

(3) (a) The licensing authority may grant sea-fishing boat licences.

(b) An application for a sea-fishing boat licence shall be—

(i) made to the licensing authority,

(ii) in such form and contain such particulars as the licensing authority may specify, and

(iii) made by or on behalf of the owner of the boat in respect of which the application is made.

(c) Where an application is made for a sea-fishing boat licence, the licensing authority may, subject to subsection (5) of this section, allow or refuse the application.

(d) In deciding on the grant or refusal of a sea-fishing boat licence or the attachment of conditions to licences the licensing authority may take account of economic and social benefits which the operation of a boat would be likely to contribute to the coastal communities and regions which the quotas within the meaning of Council Regulation No. 2371/2002 of 20 December 20021 are designed to benefit, including—

(i) the projected annual number of landings at ports in the State,

(ii) the projected annual tonnage and value of fish landed in the State,

(iii) the projected annual level of expenditure in the State on wages, fuel, supplies, equipment and services, and

(iv) the projected annual level of social security and tax payments in the State in respect of employees and the operation of the boat,

and the protection, conservation and sustainable exploitation of living marine aquatic species and requirements of the Common Fisheries Policy of the European Community.

(4) The licensing authority shall not grant a sea-fishing boat licence in respect of a sea-fishing boat unless an independent survey of the boat conducted by a competent person approved of by the licensing authority has confirmed to the satisfaction of the authority that...

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