Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006
Powers of sea-fisheries protection officer relating to fishing boats.
18.— (1) A sea-fisheries protection officer, for the purposes of enforcing the Sea-Fisheries Acts 2003 and 2006 or a Community Regulation with respect to any sea-fishing boat within a port in the State, the exclusive fishery limits or (subject to Community law or international law) outside those limits, may—
( a) if the boat is underway, order it to be stopped or be manoeuvred as directed for the purposes of identification or of allowing the officer to go on board it,
( b) board the boat,
( c) require the owner, master or member of the crew of the boat to produce the certificates of registry, licences, authorisations, logbooks or other records relating to the boat or any fishing gear or equipment thereon, the crew or any member of the crew, which are in his or her possession or control, and inspect and take extracts from or copies of them,
( d) require the master of the boat to give an explanation concerning the boat or any fishing gear or equipment on it or concerning the boat’s fishing activity and the certificates, licences, authorisations, logbooks, or other records relating to it,
( e) inspect the satellite-tracking device and any other positioning equipment on the boat and require the owner, master or member of the crew of the boat to demonstrate the operation of that equipment, for the purposes of verifying whether that equipment is operated properly, has not been tampered with or otherwise modified or interfered with and is protected against improper use,
( f) search the boat (including any package, hold, tank, container or boat or other craft on board),
( g) request and take the name and address of any person on board the boat,
( h) request co-operation and assistance from the master or crew of the boat in relation to the inspection, examination and detention of the boat or any fishing gear, equipment or sea-fish on it,
( i) if he or she reasonably suspects that there has been a contravention by any person on board the boat of this Part, without summons, warrant or other process—
(i) if the boat is not in a port, take or instruct that the boat and all persons on board be taken to port or order the master of the boat to take the boat directly to a specified port, and pending the taking of the steps required by section 20 or 21 , as may be appropriate, detain the boat and the persons on board, or
(ii) if the boat is in a port, detain the boat and the persons on board at the port or take it and them to a more convenient port and there detain it and them, pending (in either case) the taking of those steps.
(2) A sea-fisheries protection officer shall avoid the use of force except when and to the degree necessary to ensure the safety of the officer and where the officer is threatened, obstructed, intimidated or interfered with in exercising his or her duties. The degree of force shall not exceed that reasonably required in the circumstances.
(3) A sea-fisheries protection officer, who is not in uniform, shall if requested by a person affected produce evidence of his or her authority.
(4) A sea-fisheries protection officer when exercising any powers under this section may be accompanied by other persons and may take with him or her, or those persons may take with them, any equipment or materials (including firearms or other weapons (where he or she or any of those other persons is a member of the Defence Forces or the Garda Síochána)) to assist the officer in the exercise of those powers.
(5) The master of a boat who fails to obey—
( a) an order for the boat to be stopped or to be manoeuvred in accordance with directions, or
( b) an instruction for the boat to be taken to a specified port,
given by a sea-fisheries protection officer under this section commits an offence and is liable—
(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or to both, or
(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years, or to both.
Modifications (not altering text):
Application of section extended (9.08.2012) by Sea-Fisheries (Community Control System) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 320 of 2012), reg. 4(3), as substituted (13.11.2012) by Sea-Fisheries (Community Control System) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 453 of 2012), reg. 2(b).
[(3) A surveyor of ships may carry out the functions of a sea fisheries protection officer under sections 17 and 18 of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 (No. 8 of 2006) for the purpose of Articles 39(2) and (3) and 41(2) of the Council Regulation and Article 62(6) and 63 of the Commission Regulation. ]
Provision for a report prepared, or material collected, by a sea-fisheries protection officer in the exercise of his or her powers under this section to be used for the purposes of a proposal to assign points under that Regulation made (20.01.2014) by European Union (Common Fisheries Policy) (Point System) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 3 of 2014), reg. 5(8), in effect as per reg. 1(2).
Previous affecting provision: application of section extended (13.04.2006) by Sea Fisheries (Technical Conservation Measures) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 171 of 2006), reg. 5; revoked (5.06.2013) by Sea-Fisheries (Technical Measures) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No. 197 of 2013), reg. 6(1).