Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006

Chapter 2

Licensing of sea-fishing boats and miscellaneous amendments to Act of 2003

97

Sea-fishing boat licences.

97.— (1) The following section is substituted for section 4 of the Act of 2003:

“4.— (1) This section applies to any Irish sea-fishing boat.

(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 or renewed 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 for such period as is specified in the licence.

( 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), allow or refuse the application.

( d) In deciding on the grant or refusal of a sea-fishing boat licence or the attachment of terms and 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 2002 3 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 Communities.

(4) ( a) The licensing authority may renew a sea-fishing boat licence, without the holder or the licensee making an application under subsection 3( b), for such period or periods as he or she may consider appropriate.

( b) Section 7 of this Act does not apply to the renewal of a licence under paragraph ( a).

(5) The licensing authority shall not grant a sea-fishing boat licence unless the sea-fishing boat in relation to which the licence is granted is wholly owned by a national of a Member State or a state belonging to the European Economic Area or a body corporate established under and subject to the law of a Member State and having its principal place of business in a Member State or a state belonging to the European Economic Area.

(6) Where a sea-fishing boat is owned by a body corporate, the name, address and nationality of the beneficial owner or owners of the shares in, or of the person or persons who otherwise controls or control, the body corporate, shall be given to the licensing authority—

( a) on application for a sea-fishing boat licence in respect of the boat, or

( b) where a sea-fishing boat licence is in force in respect of the boat, if there is any change in such ownership or control.

(7) ( a) A body corporate which is applying for a sea-fishing boat licence or holds a sea-fishing boat licence must have an agent in the State and give the licensing authority the name and address of the agent and details of contacting the agent at any time by or on behalf of the licensing authority.

( b) The licensing authority may, as the case may be, refuse to grant or suspend (for such period as he or she sees fit) or revoke a sea-fishing boat licence where he or she considers that a body corporate is not complying with paragraph ( a) to the satisfaction of the authority.

(8) ( a) The licensing authority may attach to a sea-fishing boat licence such terms (including terms specifying an event or other circumstances on the occurrence of which the licence is to come into force or cease to be in force) and conditions (including conditions precedent to the licence’s becoming operative) as he or she shall think fit and he or she may also attach further terms or conditions to or vary the terms or conditions already attached to such a licence or remove any such terms or conditions.

( b) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph ( a), a term or condition attached to a sea-fishing boat licence may—

(i) restrict sea-fishing by the boat to which the licence relates in a manner specified in the term or condition,

(ii) require that for so long as the licence is in force the members of the crew of such boat, or of any proportion of such members specified in the condition, shall be of a nationality specified in the term or condition, or

(iii) specify an event or other circumstance on the occurrence of which the licence shall cease to be in force.

( c) Where the licensing authority is satisfied that a person has fished in contravention of a term or condition attached to a sea-fishing boat licence or that a person has attempted so to fish, the licensing authority may, if he or she thinks fit, revoke or suspend (for such period as he or she sees fit) the licence.

(9) ( a) It is a condition of a sea-fishing boat licence that the licensee shall ensure that the licensed boat complies with requirements specified by or under the Merchant Shipping Acts 1894 to 2005.

( b) Where by or under the Merchant Shipping Acts 1894 to 2005 a survey is required to be carried out of a sea-fishing boat for the purpose of establishing whether or not such boat complies with the requirements specified by or under those Acts, the licensing authority shall not grant or renew a sea-fishing boat licence in respect of the boat unless the licensing authority is satisfied that the boat complies with such requirements.

( c) Where a code of practice published by the Minister for Transport relating to the safety and sea-worthiness of sea-fishing boats of a class to which paragraph ( b) does not apply requires a survey to be carried out of a sea-fishing boat of such class for the purpose of establishing whether or not such boat complies with the requirements specified in the code of practice, the licensing authority shall not grant or renew a sea-fishing boat licence in respect of the boat unless a declaration of compliance with the code of practice has been provided to the licensing authority.

(10) ( a) The holder of a sea-fishing boat licence suspended or revoked under subsection (7)( b) or (8)( c) shall, as soon as practicable, surrender the licence to the licensing authority.

( b) A person who fails to comply with paragraph ( a) of this subsection commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €500.

( c) Where a licence has been suspended under subsection (7)( b) or (8)( c) the District Court may, upon application to it, direct the licensing authority to re-issue and return the licence or it may reduce the period of suspension.

(11) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (3)( c) where the licensing authority receives an application for a sea-fishing boat licence and—

( a) the application relates to a sea-fishing boat which is owned by a body corporate and the licensing authority is not satisfied that the body corporate is under the control of, beneficially owned by or under the control of and beneficially owned by a person or persons who, or, as may be appropriate, each of whom, is either a qualified individual or a qualified body, or

( b) the licensing authority is satisfied that the applicant has previously used or attempted to use a sea-fishing boat for sea-fishing in contravention of, or that the applicant has fished for sea-fish or has attempted so to fish contrary to, subsection (2),

he or she may refuse the application.

(12) ( a) Where the holder of a sea-fishing boat licence—

(i) ceases to be the owner of the sea-fishing boat to which the licence relates, or

(ii) is a body corporate which ceases to be under the control of or beneficially owned by or under the control of and beneficially owned by a person or persons who, or, as may be appropriate, each of whom, is either a qualified individual or a qualified body,

the licence ceases to have effect and the holder of the licence shall, as soon as practicable, deliver the licence to the licensing authority.

( b) A person who fails to comply with paragraph ( a) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €500.

(13) ( a) A person who uses or attempts to use a sea-fishing boat in contravention of subsection (2) commits an offence.

( b) A person who, while on board a sea-fishing boat, fishes for sea-fish or attempts to so fish in contravention of subsection (2) commits an offence.

(14) In this section—

‘Irish sea-fishing boat’ means a sea-fishing boat which is—

( a) entered in the Register of Fishing Boats maintained under section 74 of the Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006,

( b) required by regulations under section 76 of that Act to be so entered, or

( c) exempt from such registration by regulations under that section;

‘qualified body’ means a body corporate in which all of the shares are beneficially owned, or the body is otherwise controlled, by one or more individuals who, or, as may be appropriate, each of whom is, a qualified individual;

‘qualified individual’ means an individual person who is a national of a Member State or a state belonging to the European Economic Area;

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

‘Member State’ means a Member State of the European Communities.’’.

(2) A sea-fishing boat licence granted or renewed under section 222B of the Principal Act which is in force immediately before the passing of this Act continues in force as if made or renewed under the corresponding provision of section 4 (inserted by this section) of the Act of 2003.

3 OJ No. L358, 31.12.2002, p.59