Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006
Powers of sea-fisheries protection officer related to the inspection, examination and detention of sea-fish, etc.
17.— (1) A sea-fisheries protection officer is authorised and empowered to do all or any of the following things, that is to say:
(a) to stop any person conveying or believed to be conveying sea-fish of any kind and to inspect any sea-fish which the person is found to be conveying and for that purpose to open, search and examine any vehicle, equipment 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 or stop, as appropriate and have free access to the interior of—
(i) any premises in which sea-fish is or is believed to be sold, or kept, exposed for sale, stored, processed or disposed of,
(ii) the premises of any person engaged in the business of carrying goods which relate to the common fisheries policy,
(iii) any pier, quay, wharf, jetty, dock or dock premises, seafood factory or processing facility or warehouse,
(iv) any ship, boat, railway wagon, lorry, tanker, trailer or other vessel or vehicle used for the conveyance of goods,
(v) the premises of any person engaged in the business of retaining documents containing information on activities relating to the common fisheries policy;
(c) to examine all sea-fish found in any place which he or she 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 verify the accuracy of the information in any document or record which relates to the common fisheries policy;
(e) to check the size, weight, characteristics and condition of sea-fish and the operation of any equipment used for the measurement, weighing, handling, storage, trans-shipment, transportation and processing of sea-fish;
(f) to stop, board and examine or search, on any part of the sea or the sea shore, any boat used or believed to be used for fishing or containing illegally caught or retained sea-fish, and to examine all fish and all fishing gear and other equipment found on or in it, or used from it and for that purpose to open any package, hold, tank, container or other article which contains or is suspected of containing any fish, fishing gear or other such equipment;
(g) to take, remove, and detain in his or her custody any sea-fish (either together with or without any package or container in which the fish 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 Part is being or is suspected of being or to have been committed;
(h) to take, remove, and detain in his or her custody any fishing gear or other equipment used in fishing or capable of being used for fishing or any article which is liable or is believed to be liable to forfeiture under this Part;
(i) to request and take the name and address of the person having custody of any sea-fish or other article which he or she is authorised under this section to examine, and also to request and take from such person the name and address of the owner of such sea-fish or other article;
(j) to require the owner of or any person connected with—
(i) any premises referred to in paragraph (b)(i) and (ii) and (v),
(ii) any pier, quay, wharf, jetty, dock or dock premises, seafood factory or processing facility or warehouse referred to in paragraph (b)(iii), or
(iii) any ship, boat, railway wagon, lorry, tanker, trailer or other vessel or vehicle referred to in paragraph (b)(iv),
to give to him or her such information and to produce to him or her such records within the power or procurement of that person as he or she may reasonably require relating to the common fisheries policy;
(k) to examine and take the documents or records or copies of, or extracts from, such documents or records relating to the common fisheries policy;
(l) take evidence, including photographic evidence or electronically recorded evidence, of anything relating to an offence under this Part which is being committed or suspected of being or having been committed.
(2) When a sea-fisheries protection officer detains in his or her custody under this section any sea-fish or other article, he or she shall, as soon as conveniently may be, take such steps as may be proper to have the person accused of the alleged offence 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 or her custody under this section any sea-fish and the sea-fish is likely to become unfit for human food before the matter can conveniently be dealt with by any court, he or she may produce the sea-fish to a designated officer (where he or she is not a designated officer), and, if authorised so to do by the designated officer, shall sell or otherwise dispose properly of the sea-fish.
(4) Where a sea-fisheries protection officer detains in his or her custody under this section any live sea-fish, he or she may produce the sea-fish to a designated officer (where he or she is not a designated officer) and, if authorised so to do by the designated officer, shall return the sea-fish to the sea.
(5) A designated officer to whom any sea-fish is produced under this section or which he or she has detained in his or her authority as a sea-fisheries protection officer shall, if he or she is of opinion that the sea-fish ought in the circumstances to be destroyed or returned to the sea, give to the sea-fisheries protection officer producing the sea-fish or create for himself or herself, as the case may be, a certificate in writing describing the sea-fish and any marks, peculiarities or other particulars thereof pointed out to him or her by the sea-fisheries protection officer and authorising the officer to destroy the sea-fish or return the sea-fish to the sea, as the case may be. The certificate shall be conclusive evidence in every court of all such matters of fact stated in it.
(6) 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.
(7) A sea-fisheries protection officer, who is not in uniform, shall if requested by a person affected produce evidence of his or her authority.
(8) 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 to assist the officer in the exercise of those powers.
(9) In this section “designated officer” means an officer of the Department or such other person designated by the Minister to whom a sea-fisheries protection officer produces sea-fish for the purposes of this section.
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).
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).