Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006
17A.— (1) This section applies to an offence under the Sea-Fisheries Acts 2003 to 2007.
(2) A judge of the District Court, by information on oath of a sea-fisheries protection officer, may, if he or she is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that evidence of, or relating to the commission of, an offence to which this section applies is to be found in any place, issue a warrant for the search of that place and any persons found there.
(3) A warrant under this section shall be expressed and shall operate to authorise a named sea-fisheries protection officer, alone or accompanied by such other persons as may be necessary—
(a) to enter (if necessary by the use of reasonable force) and on production of the warrant (if so requested), within 7 days from the date of issuing of the warrant, the place named in the warrant,
(b) to search it and any persons found there,
(c) while there, to exercise any of the functions of a sea-fisheries protection officer—
(i) under section 17, and
(ii) under section 18, if the place is a sea-fishing boat,
(d) to otherwise examine, take, remove and detain any thing found there, or in the possession of a person present there at the time of the search, which the sea-fisheries protection officer reasonably believes to be evidence of or relating to the commission of an offence to which this section applies, and
(e) to take any other steps which may appear to the sea-fisheries protection officer to be necessary for preserving any such thing and preventing interference with it.
(4) The authority conferred by subsection (3)(d) to take, remove and detain any thing includes, in the case of records, authority—
(a) to make and retain a copy of the records, and
(b) where necessary, to seize and, for as long as necessary, retain any computer or other storage medium in which any record is kept.
(5) A sea-fisheries protection officer acting under the authority of a warrant under this section may—
(a) operate any computer at the place which is being searched or cause any such computer to be operated by a person accompanying the officer for that purpose, and
(b) require any person at that place who appears to the officer to have lawful access to the information in any such computer—
(i) to give to the officer any password necessary to operate it,
(ii) otherwise to enable the officer to examine the information accessible by the computer in a form in which the information is visible and legible, or
(iii) to produce the information in a form in which it can be removed and in which it is, or can be made, visible and legible.
(6) Where any sea-fisheries protection officer has entered a place in the execution of a warrant issued under this section, he or she may seize and detain any material, other than items subject to legal privilege, which is likely to be of substantial value (whether by itself or together with other material) to the investigation for the purpose of which the warrant was issued.
(7) The power to issue a warrant under this section—
(a) is without prejudice to the exercise of a function by a sea-fisheries protection officer under any other provision of the Sea-Fisheries Acts 2003 to 2007, and
(b) is in addition to and not in substitution for any other power to issue a warrant for the search of any place or person.
(8) A sea-fisheries protection officer to whom a warrant under this section has been issued shall, if not in uniform and if requested by a person affected, produce evidence of his or her authority as such an officer.
(9) In this section—
"commission", in relation to an offence, includes an attempt to commit the offence;
"computer at the place which is being searched" includes any other computer, whether at that place or at any other place, which is lawfully accessible by means of that computer;
"place" includes a dwelling, a building or other structure or part of a building or other structure, a vehicle, a sea-fishing boat or other vessel, an aircraft, an installation in the territorial seas or in a designated area (within the meaning of F38[the Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2021]) and a tent, caravan or other temporary or movable structure;
"thing" includes any thing that may be inspected by a sea-fisheries protection officer pursuant to section 17 or 18.]
Inserted (9.05.2007) by Criminal Justice Act 2007 (29/2007), s. 44(a), commenced on enactment.
Substituted (22.11.2021) by Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2021 (28/2021), s. 31(c), S.I. No. 601 of 2021.