Fisheries Act

Link to law: http://laws.gov.ag/acts/chapters/cap-173.pdf
Published: 1984

Fisheries (CAP. 173 1

CHAPTER 173

T H E FISHERIES ACT

Arrangement of Sections
Section

Part I

Preliminary

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.

Part I1

Fisheries Management and Development

3. Promotion of fisheries.
4. Fisheries management and development plan.
5. Fisheries Advisory Committee.
6. Regional co-operation in fisheries management.
7. Fisheries access agreements.
8. Foreign fishing licences.
9. Stowage of fishing gear.

10. Observation of laws.
1 1. Local fishing licences.
12. Validity of fishing licences.
13. Conditions of fishing licences.
14. Fees, Royalties, etc.
15. Cancellation or suspension of fishing licences.
16. Notice.
17. Appeals.
18. Fish processing establishments.
19. Local fisheries management areas.
20. By-Laws.

Part I11

Marine Reserves and Conservation Measures

2 1. Fishing priority areas.

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2 CAP. 173) Fisheries

22. Marine reserves.
23. Fisheries research.
24. Prohibited fishing methods.
25. Possession of prohibited fishing gear.

Part IV

Enforcement

26. Designation of authorized officers.
27. Powers of authorized officers.
28. Sale of perishable goods seized.
29. Immunity of authorized officers..
30. Assaulting or obstructing authorized officers.
3 1. Master liable for offences committed on board his vessel.
32. Release of vessel etc. on bond.
33. Court's powers of forfeiture.
34. Presumptions.
35. Onus of Proof.
36. Disposal of vessels etc. forfeited.
37. Offences triable as if committed within limits of local

jurisdiction.
38. Minister's power to compound offences.

Part V

General

39. Regulations.
40. Exemptions.
41. Commencement.

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 3

FISHERIES

An Act to provide for the development and management
of fisheries and matters incidental thereto.

(29th March, 1984.) : ~ ~ : ~ ~ ~ :

Part I

Preliminary

1. This Act may be cited as the Fisheries Act. short title.

2. In this Act- Interpretation.
" access agreement" means an agreement under

section 7;

"Antigua and Barbuda waters" means the waters of
the exclusive economic zone, fishery zone, territorial
sea, archipelagic waters and internal waters as
defined in the Maritime Areas Act, and any other 260.

waters over which Antigua and Barbuda claims
fisheries jurisdiction.

"authorized officer" means any fisheries officer, any
customs officer or police officer and any other
person or category of persons designated as an
authorized officer by the Minister under section 26;

'6 court" means a Magistrate's court;

"Chief Fisheries Officer" means the person appointed
as Chief Fisheries Officer under section 3(2) (a);

"fish" means any aquatic animal, whether piscine or
not and includes shellfish, turtles, mollusc,
crustacean, coral, sponge, echinoderms, their young
and their eggs;

"fish aggregating device" means any man-made or
partly man-made floating or submerged device,
whether anchored or not, intended for the purpose

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4 CAP. 173) Fisheries

of aggregating fish, and includes any natural
floating object on which a device has been placed
to facilitate its location;

"fisheries officer7' means the Chief Fisheries Officer,
Fisheries Officer or Assistant Fisheries Officer
appointed under section 3(2);

"fishery" means one or more stock of fish or fishing
operations based on such stocks which can be
treated as a unit for purposes of conservation and
management and which are identified on the basis
of geographical, scientific, technical, recreational,
and economic characteristics;

"fisheries plan" means the plan for the management
and development of fisheries prepared under
section 4;

"fishing" means fishing for or catching or taking or
killing fish by any method or placing of any fish
aggregating device and includes searching for fish;

"fisheries licence" means a foreign fishing licence or
a local fishing licence;

"fishing vessel" means any vessel used for commercial
fishing or related activities including game fishing;

"foreign fishing licence" means a licence issued in
respect of a foreign fishing vessel under section 8;

"foreign fishing vessel" means any fishing vessel other
than a local fishing vessel;

"licence" means a licence issued under this Act;

"local fishing licence" means a licence issued in respect
of a local fishing vessel under section 11;

"local fishing vessel" means any fishing vessel-

(a) wholly owned by the Government or by any
public corporation established by or under any law or;

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Fisheries (CAP. 173

(b) wholly owned by one or more persons who are
citizens of Antigua and Barbuda; or

(6 ) wholly owned by any company, society or other
association of persons incorporated or established under
the laws of Antigua and Barbuda of which at least 51
per cent of the voting shares are held by citizens of
Antigua and Barbuda;

"locally based foreign fishing vessel" means any foreign
fishing vessel based in Antigua and Barbuda which
lands all its catch in Antigua and Barbuda;

6 ' master" means the person or persons having control
of a fishing vessel at any given time, and includes
a fishing master, fleet commander or pilot having
control of such vessel;

"related activities" in relation to fishing means-

(a) transhipping fish to or from any vessel; or

( b ) storing, processing or transporting fish taken
from Antigua and Barbuda waters up to the time it is
first landed; or

( c ) refuelling or supplying fishing vessels or
performing other activities in support of fishing
operations; or

(d) attempting or preparing to do any of the above;

"testing fishing operations" means any fishing
operations undertaken over a limited period of time
with the a ~ ~ r o v a l of the Chief Fisheries Officer for

A.

the purpose of testing the feasibility of commercial
fishing operations with a view to the establishment
of locally based fishery operations.

Part I1

Fisheries Management and Development

3. (1) The Minister shall take such measures as he E;;z:Fn
thinks fit under this Act to promote the development and
management of fisheries, so as to ensure the optimum

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6 CAP. 173) Fisheries

utilisation of the fisheries resources in Antigua and Barbuda
waters for the benefit of Antigua and Barbuda.

( 2 ) There may be appointed-

(a) a Chief Fisheries Officer; and

( b ) such other Fisheries Officers and Assistant
Fisheries Officers as may be necessary to give effect to
this Act.

(3) Any appointments under sub-section ( 2 ) shall, if the
appointment is to be an office in the Public Service, be made
pursuant to the Constitution, but otherwise shall be made
by the Minister.

Fisheries
management and

4. (1) The Chief Fisheries Officer shall prepare and
development keep under review a plan for the management and
plan. development of fisheries in Antigua and Barbuda waters.

(2) The Fisheries plan shall-

(a) identify each fishery and assess the present state
of its exploitation;

( b ) specify the objectives to be achieved in the
management of each fishery;

(c) specify the management and development
measures to be taken; and

(6) specify the licensing programmes to be followed
for each fishery, the limitations, if any, to be applied
to local fishing operations and the amount of fishing,
if any, to be allocated to foreign fishing vessels.

(3) In the preparation and review of the fisheries plan
the Chief Fisheries Officer shall consult with the local
fishermen, local authorities and other persons affected by
the fishery plan.

Fisheries
Advisory

5 . (1) The Minister may appoint a Fisheries Advisory
Committee. Committee to advise on the management and development

of fisheries.

( 2 ) A Fisheries Advisory Committee appointed under
this section shall include the Chief Fisheries Officer and such

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 7

other persons as the Minister may consider capable of
advising on the management and development of fisheries.

6. (1) The Minister may enter into arrangements or Regional co-
agreements with other countries in the region or with any ;ggi2 in
competent regional organization, providing for- management.

(a) the harmonization of systems for the collecting
of statistics, and the carrying out of surveys and
procedures for assessing the state of the fisheries
resources;

( b ) the harmonization of licensing procedures and
conditions in respect of foreign fishing vessls;

(c) schemes for the issuance of fishing licences in
respect of foreign fishing vessels by a competent regional
organization on behalf of the Minister and the
recognition of regional licences issued by such
organization,, subject to such conditions as may be
specified in the agreement or arrangement and to such
additional conditions as the Minister may specify from
time to time;

(6) the taking of joint or harmonized enforcement
measures in respect of foreign fishing vessels
contravening fisheries laws in the region;

(e) the establishment and operation of joint or
regional fisheries management bodies where appropriate;

V) other co-operative measures, where appropriate,
which may include the establishment of a regional
register of fishing vessels.

(2) For the purpose of giving effect to any arrangement
or agreement entered into under this section, the Minister
may by Order published in the Gazette-

(a) authorize any competent regional organization
designated in the Order to issue fishing licences in respect
of foreign fishing vessels on behalf of the Minister, within
the limits set out in the Order;.

( 6 ) exempt from the requirements of section 8 any
foreign fishing vessel or class of foreign fishing vessels
holding valid regional fishing licences issued by a

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8 CAP. 173) Fisheries

competent regional organization designated in the
Order; and

(c) prescribe the conditions to be observed by
foreign fishing vessels exempted under paragraph ( 6 )
while fishing or navigating in Antigua and Barbuda
waters.

Fisheries access
agreements.

7. (1) The Minister, with the approval of Cabinet,
may enter into agreements with other countries and with
associations representing foreign fishing vessel owners or
charterers, providing for the allocation of fishing rights to
vessels from those countries or associations.

(2) The fishing rights allocated under agreements
entered into under this section shall not exceed the total
resources or amount of fishing allowed to the appropriate
category of foreign fishing vessels under the fisheries plan.

(3) Any agreement entered into under this section shall
include a provision establishing the responsibility of the
foreign country or association to take necessary measures
to ensure compliance by its vessels with the terms and
conditions of the agreement and with the laws relating to
fishing in Antigua and Barbuda waters.

Foreign fishing
licences.

8. (1) No foreign fishing vessel shall be used for
fishing or related activities in Antigua and Barbuda waters
without a valid foreign fishing licence issued under this
section.

(2) An application for a foreign fishing licence shall be
made, in the prescribed form, to the Minister or to a
competent regional organization authorized to issue fishing
licences under section 6(2) (a).

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act and any
regulations made under this Act, the Minister may issue a
foreign fishing licence authorising a fishing vessel to be used
in Antigua and Barbuda waters for such fishing or related
activities as may be specified in the licence.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), no foreign fishing licence
shall be issued to any foreign fishing vessel unless there is
in force with the Government of the flag state of the vessel

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 9

or with an association of which the owner or charterer is
a member, an agreement entered into under section 7 to
which the Government of Antigua and Barbuda is a party.

(5) Subsection (4) shall not apply to a licence issued
in respect of-

(a) test fishing operations; or

(b) a locally based foreign fishing vessel.

(6) Where a foreign fishing vessel is used in
contravention of subsection (1) or any condition of the foreign
fishing licence, the master, owner and charterer of that vessel
is each guilty of an offence and is each liable on summary
conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred thousand
dollars.

9. The fishing gear of a foreign fishing vessel which stowage of
fishing gear.

is prohibited by section 8 from fishing within Antigua-and
Barbuda waters, shall be stowed in such manner as may be
prescribed while within Antigua and Barbuda waters.

10. No licence shall relieve any foreign fishing vessel Observation of
laws.

or its master or crew of any obligation or requirements
imposed by law concerning navigation, customs,
immigration, health or other matters.

1 . (1) NO local fishing vessel shall be used for fishing ~ ~ , " ; ~ ~ ; h i n g
or related activities in Antigua and Barbuda waters without
a valid licence issued under this section in respect of that
vessel.

(2) An application for a local fishing licence shall be
made in the prescribed form to the Chief Fisheries Officer.

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the Chief Fisheries Officer
may issue a local fishing licence in the prescribed form.

(4) No application for a local fishing licence shall be
refused except on any of the following grounds, namely-

(a) that it is necessary to do so in order to give
effect to any licensing programme specified in the
fisheries plan;

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10 CAP. 173) Fisheries

( b ) that the Chief Fisheries Officer has reason to
believe that the applicant will not comply with the
conditions of the licence;

(c) that the vessel in respect of which the application
is made does not have a valid certificate of inspection
where so required under the laws governing merchant
shipping, or is not in compliance with regulations
prescribed under section 39 relating to the safety of the
vessel; or

(d) such other grounds as are specified in this Act
or any regulations made under this Act.

(5) Where a local fishing vessel is used in contravention
of sub-section (1) or of any condition of the local fishing
licence, the master, owner and charterer of that vessel is each
guilty of an offence and is each liable upon summary con-
viction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars.

Validity of 12. (1) Unless earlier cancelled in accordance with
fishing licences. section 15, a fishing licence shall be valid for a period of

not more than twelve months.

(2) Where a vessel licensed as a local fishing vessel
becomes a foreign fishing vessel, the licence shall
automatically terminate.

(3) The term of a foreign fishing licence shall not extend
beyond the term of validity of the applicable access
agreement.

(4) No licence shall be transferrable except with the
written permission of the Chief Fisheries Officer or, in the
case of a foreign fishing licence, the Minister.

Conditions of
fishing licences.

13. (1) Every fishing licence shall be in the prescribed
form and shall be subject-

(a) to such general conditions as may be prescribed;

(6 ) to such general conditions as may be specified
under subsection (2); and

(c) to such special conditions as may be specified
under sub-section (3).

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 11

(2) The Minister may, by notice published in the Gazette,
specify general conditions additional to those prescribed to
which all fishing licences or any category of fishing licences
shall be subject including conditions relating to open and
closed seasons, prohibited fishing areas, minimum mesh sizes
and minimum species sizes.

(3) The Chief Fisheries Officer, or in the case of a
foreign fishing licence, the Minister, may attach to any fishing
licence such special conditions as he may think fit.

(4) The Chief Fisheries Officer, or in the case of a
foreign fishing licence, the Minister, may from time to time
where he is satisfied that it is expedient for the proper
management of fisheries in Antigua and Barbuda waters,
vary any special conditions attached to any fishing licence.

(5) Where the Minister or the Chief Fisheries Officer
varies any special conditions attached to any fishing licence
he shall notify the licence holder of such variation as soon
as practicable.

14. There shall be payable in respect of every fishing
licence such fees as may be prescribed and such royalties
or other charges as the Minister may determine.

15. (1) A fishing licence may be cancelled or f$;ii;:;",f"'
suspended on any of the grounds set out in subsection (2). fishing l;,,,,es.

(2) The grounds on which a fishing licence may be
cancelled or suspended are that the Minister or the Chief
Fisheries Officer, as the case may be, is satisfied that-

(a) it is necessary to do so in order to allow for
the proper management of any particular fishery;

(6) the vessel in respect of which the licence has
been issued has been used in contravention of this Act
or of any regulations made thereunder, or of any
condition of the licence or in breach of any applicable
access agreement; or

(c) he is required or authorised to do so in
accordance with the provisions of any arrangement or
agreement entered into under section 6.

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CAP. 173)

Notice.

Appeals.

(3) Where a fishing licence has been cancelled or
suspended under subsection (I), notification of the
cancellation or suspension shall be given to the person to
whom the licence was issued.

(4) Where a fishing licence has been suspended or
cancelled on the grounds specified in section 15(2) (a), a
portion of any fees paid for the fishing licence representing
the unexpired period of that licence or the period of
suspension, as the case may be, shall be reimbursed to the
licensee at his request.

16. (1) Any notification given under section 13(5) or
15(3) shall be in writing, except as otherwise specified in
subsection (2).

(2) In the case of a foreign fishing vessel, a notification
referred to in sub-section (1) may be in writing or by telex,
radio or such other form as the Minister may deem
appropriate.

17. Any person aggrieved by any decision of the Chief
Fisheries Officer under section 11 or section 15,. may within
21 days of the receipt of notification of that decision appeal
against it to the Minister, whose decision shall be final.

Fish processing
establishments.

18. (1) The Minister may grant to any person a
licence to operate a fish processing establishment on pay-
ment of such fees and subject to such conditions as may be
prescribed from time to time.

(2) Any person who operates or causes or allows to be
operated any fish processing establishment except under a
licence granted under this section and in accordance with
the conditions of such licence is guilty of an offence and is
liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding ten
thousand dollars.

(3) In this section "fish processing establishment"
means any land, vessel, premises or other place on or in
which fish is processed to be sold in or outside Antigua and
Barbuda and includes any premises on which fish purchased
wholesale from any vessel is gutted, salted, iced, chilled or
frozen.

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 13

19. (1) The Minister may by notice published in the ~~~~~~:~~
Gazette- areas.

( a ) designate an area as a local fisheries
management area;

(6) designate any local authority, fishermen's
co-operative or fishermen's association, or other
appropriate body representing fishermen in the area as
the local Fisheries Management Authority for that area.

(2) Where there is no appropriate body representing
fishermen in the area, the Minister may promote the
formation of such a body.

( 3 ) The Chief Fisheries Officer shall, wherever
practicable, provide to any Local Fisheries Management
Authority such assistance as may be reasonably necessary
for the performance of its functions.

20. (1) A Local Fisheries Management Authority
designated under section 19(1) (b) shall make by-laws, not
inconsistent with this Act or any regulations made under
this Act, regulating the conduct of fishing operations in the
designated area.

(2) By-Laws made under sub-section ( 1 ) shall be
approved by the Minister and published in the Gazette before
they come into effect.

( 3 ) By-Laws made under sub-section (1) may provide
that a breach of any by-law shall constitute an offence and
may provide for penalties on summary conviction by way
of fine not exceeding five hundred dollars.

Part I11

Marine Reserves and Conservation Measures

21. The Minister may, by notice published in the r::Efg priority
Gazette, declare any area of Antigua and Barbuda waters,
to be a fishing priority area, where he considers that special
measures are necessary to ensure that authorized fishing
within the area, is not impeded or otherwise interfered with.

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1 4 CAP. 173) Fisheries

Marine reserves. 22. ( 1 ) The Minister may, by notice published in the
Gazette, declare any area of Antigua and Barbuda waters and,
as appropriate, any adjacent or surrounding land, to be a
marine reserve where he considers that special measures are
necessary-

(a) to afford special protection to the flora and
fauna of such areas and to protect and preserve the
natural breeding grounds and habitats of aquatic life,
with particular regard to flora and fauna in danger of
extinction;

(6) to allow for the natural regeneration of aquatic
life in areas where such life has been depleted;

(c) to promote scientific study and research in
respect of such areas; or

( 4 to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of
such areas.

(2) Any person who, in any marine reserve, without
permission granted under sub-section (3)-

(a) fishes or attempts to fish;

( b ) takes or destroys any flora and fauna other than
fish;

(c) dredges, extracts sand or gravel, discharges or
deposits waste or any other polluting matter, or in any
other way disturbs, alters or destroys the natural
environment; or

( 4 constructs or erects any buildings or other
structures on or over any land or waters within such
a reserve;

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

( 3 ) The Minister, or any person authorized by him in
writing, may give written permission to do any of the things
prohibited under this section where the doing of such things
may be required for the proper management of the reserve
or for any of the purposes referred to in sub-section (1 ) .

Fisheries
research.

23. (1) The Minister may, on the submission of a
fisheries research plan, approved by the Chief Fisheries

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 15

Officer, grant permission for any vessel or person to under-
take research into fisheries in Antigua and Barbuda waters
and in doing so may exempt such vessel or person from any
of the provisions of this Act.

( 2 ) The Minister may attach such conditions as he
deems fit to any permission granted under sub-section ( 1 ) .

( 3 ) Any person who undertakes fisheries research in
Antigua and Barbuda waters-

(a) without permission under sub-section ( 1 ) ; or

( b ) in contravention of any condition attached to
the permission under sub-section (2);

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

(4) Any permission or exemption granted under this
section shall be in writing.

24. ( 1 ) Any person who- Prohibited
fishing methods.

(a) permits to be used, uses or attempts to use any
explosive, poison or other noxious substance for the
purpose of killing, stunning, disabling or catching fish,
or in any way rendering fish more easily caught; or

( b ) carries or has in his possession or control any
explosive, poison or other noxious substance in
circumstances indicating an intention of using such
explosive, poison or other noxious substance for any
of the purposes referred to in the preceding paragraph,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine not exceeding twenty thousand dollars.

( 2 ) Any explosive, poison or other noxious substance
found on board any fishing vessel shall be presumed, unless
the contrary is proved, to be intended for the purpose referred
to in sub-section ( 1 ) (a) .

( 3 ) Any person who lands, sells, receives or is found
in possession of any fish taken in contravention of sub-section
( 1 ) (a) , knowing or having reasonable cause to believe them
to have been so taken, is guilty of an offence and is liable

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16 CAP. 173) Fisheries

on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty
thousand dollars.

(4) For the purposes of this section, a certificate signed
by the Chief Fisheries Officer as to the cause and manner
of death or injury of any fish shall be accepted as prim; facie
evidence in a court without proof of the signature of the
person appearing to have signed the certificate or his official
character.

Possession of
prohibited

25. Any person who within Antigua and Barbuda
fishing gear. waters uses for fishing or has on board any fishing vessel,

in circumstances which indicate an intention to use for fishing
in Antigua and Barbuda waters-

( a ) any net the mesh size of which is less than the
prescribed minimum size for that fishery; or

(6) any other net or fishing gear which is prohibited
by this Act,

is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction
to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.

Part IV

Enforcement

Designation of
authorized

26. The Minister may designate from time to time
officers. by notice published in the Gazette such persons as he deems

fit, including members of the enforcement authority of any
country or of any regional or sub-regional marine enforce-
ment entity, to be authorized officers for the purposes of this
Act.

Powers of
authorized 27. (1) For the purposes of enforcing this Act, any
officers. authorized officer may, without a warrant-

(a ) stop, board and search any foreign fishing vessel
in Antigua and Barbuda waters and any local fishing
vessel in or outside Antigua and Barbuda waters and
stop and search any vehicle;

(b ) require to be produced, examine and take copies
of any licence or other document required under this
Act;

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 1 7

(c) require to be produced and examine any fishing
net or other fishing gear whether at sea or on land.

(2) Any authorized officer, where he has reasonable
grounds to believe that an offence has been committed under
this Act may, without a warrant-

(a) enter and search any premises, other than
premises used exclusively as a dwelling house, in which
he has reason to believe that the offence has been
committed or where he has reason to believe that fish
illegally taken are being stored;

( 6 ) take samples of any fish found in any vessel,
vehicle or premises searched under this section;

(c) seize any vessel (together with its gear, stores
and cargo), vehicles, fishing gear, net or other fishing
appliance which he has reason to believe has been used
in the commission of the offence or in respect of which
the offence has been committed;

(6) seize any fish which he has reason to believe
has been caught in the commission of the offence, or
is being possessed in contravention of this Act;

(e) seize any explosive or poison which he has
reason to believe has been used or is being possessed
in contravention of this Act.

(3) Any vessel seized under sub-section (2) and the crew
thereof shall be taken to the nearest or most convenient port
and the vessel may be detained pending the outcome of any
legal proceedings under this Act or its release on bound or
other form of security in accordance with the provisions of
section 32.

(4) Where following the commission of an offence under
this Act by any foreign fishing vessel, such foreign fishing
vessel is pursued beyond the limits of Antigua and Barbuda
waters, the powers conferred on authorized officers under
this section shall be exercisable beyond the limits of Antigua
and Barbuda waters in the circumstances and to the extent
recognized by international law.

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18 CAP. 173) Fisheries

(5) An authorized officer in exercising any of the powers
conferred on him by this section shall on demand produce
such means of identification as may be necessary to show
that he is an authorized officer for the purposes of this Act.

Sale of perishable 28. (1) Any fish or other articles of a perishable
goods seized.

nature seized under this Act may, at the direction of the
Chief Fisheries Officer, be sold and the proceeds of sale shall
be held and dealt with in accordance with the provisions of
this Act.

(2) Where, after making all reasonable efforts, the Chief
Fisheries Officer is unable to sell the fish or other articles
referred to in subsection (I ) , he may dispose of them in such
other manner as he thinks fit.

Immunity of
authorized

29. No action shall be brought against any authorized
officers. officer in respect of anything done or omitted to be done

by him in good faith in the execution or purported execution
of his powers and duties under this Act.

Assaulting or
obstructing

30. Any person who obstructs, assaults or threatens
authorized with violence any authorized officer in the exercise of the
officers. powers conferred on him under this Act is guilty of an offence

and is liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars
and to imprisonment for five years.

Master liable for
offences

31. Where an offence against this Act has been
committed on committed by any person on board or employed on a fishing

his vessel, the master of such vessel shall also be guilty of the
offence.

Release of vessels 32. The court may, on application therefor, order the
etc.
on bond. release of any fishing vessel (together with its gear, stores

and cargo), vehicle, fish, fishing gear, net or other fishing
appliance seized under this Act on receipt of a satisfactory
bond or other form of security from the owner or other person
claiming such property.

Court's powers of
forfeiture.

33. Where any person is convicted of an offence
against this Act, the court, in addition to any other penalty
imposed-

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Fisheries (CAP. 173 19

(a) may order that any fishing vessel (together with
its gear, stores and cargo) and any vehicle, fishing gear,
net or other fishing appliance, used in the commission
of the offencce be forfeited;

( b ) shall order that any fish caught in the
commission of such offence or the proceeds of sale of
such fish and any explosive, poison or other noxious
substance used in the commission of such offence be
forfeited.

34. (1) Until the contrary is proved, all fish found Presumptions.
on board any fishing vessel which has been used in the
commission of an offence against this Act shall be presumed
to have been caught in the commission of that offence.

(2) Where in any legal proceedings instituted under this
Act following the seizure of a foreign fishing vessel, by an
enforcement vessel, the place in which an event is alleged
to have taken place is in issue, the place stated in a certified
copy of the relevant entry in the logbook or other official
record of the enforcement vessel as being the place in which
the event took place shall be presumed, until the contrary
is proved, to be the place in which such event took place.

35. In any legal proceedings under this Act where onus of Proof.
the defendant is charged with having committed an offence
under which a licence, authority or the permission of any
person is required for the doing of any act, the onus shall
be on the defendant to prove that at the time to which the
charge relates, the requisite licence, authority or permission
was duly held.

36. Any vessel (together with its gear, stores and D i s ~ ~ a l of
vessels etc.

cargo), and any vehicles, fishing gear, net or other fishing forfeited.
appliance, explosive, poison or other noxious substance
ordered to be forfeited under this Act shall be disposed of
in such manner as the Minister may direct.

37. Any offence against any of the provisions of this Offences triable
as if committed

Act or any regulations made under this Act committed within ,ithi, limit,
Antigua and Barbuda waters by any person, or any such local jurisdiction.
offence committed outside such waters by any citizen of or
person ordinarily resident in Antigua and Barbuda or by
any person on board any local fishing vessel, shall be triable

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

20 CAP. 173) Fisheries

in any court of Antigua and Barbuda as if such offence has
been committed in Antigua and Barbuda within the local
limits of the jurisdiction of such court.

Minister's power 38. (1) Subject to subsection (4), the Minister may
to compound
offences. where he is satisfied that any person has committed an offence

against this Act or any regulations made under this Act
compound such offence by accepting on behalf of the Govern-
ment from such person a sum of money not exceeding the
maximum fine specified for that offence.

(2) On compounding an offence under this section the
Minister may order the release of any article seized under
section 27 or the proceeds of sale of such article under
section 28 on such conditions including the payment of such
additional sums of money not exceeding the value of the
article seized, as he may think fit.

(3) No offence shall be compounded under this section
unless the person who has committed the offence has
expressed his willingness in a prescribed form that the offence
be so dealt with.

(4) The compounding of an offence under this section
shall be notified in writing under the signature of both parties
to the appropriate Magistrate's court.

(5) In any proceedings brought against any person for
an offence against this Act or any regulations made under
this Act, it shall be a defence if such person proves that the
offence with which he is charged has been compounded under
this section.

(6) This section does not apply to any offence against
section 24 or section 30 of this Act.

Part V

General

Regulations. 39. (1) The Minister may make regulations generally
for the management and development of fisheries in Antigua
and Barbuda waters.

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

Fisheries (CAP. 173 2 1

- ( 2 ) In particular without limiting the generality of
subsection ( 1 ) the Minister may make regulations for all or
any of the following purposes-

s

P (a) providing for the licensing, regulation and management of any particular fishery;
8

( b ) prescribing fisheries management and
conservation measures including minimum mesh sizes,
minimum species sizes, closed seasons, closed areas,
prohibited methods of fishing and schemes for limiting
entry into all or any specified fisheries;

(c) prescribing the constitution, functions and
duties of the Fisheries Advisory Committee appointed
under section 5;

(d) regulating the catching and utilization of fish
taken incidentally when fishing for a species for which
a licence has been issued;

(e) providing for the registration and licensing of
fishermen, fishing gear and other fishing appliances;

(f) organizing and regulating sport fishing in
Antigua and Barbuda waters;

(g) regulating the landing, marketing and
distribution of fish;

(h ) regulating the transiting of foreign fishing
vessels through Antigua and Barbuda waters, including
the manner in which fishing gear is to be stowed;

(i) making provision for rewards to be paid to any
person providing information on the operations of
foreign fishing vessels leading to a conviction or
compounding of an offence under this Act;

@ prescribing the form of foreign fishing licences,
which may take the form of a written licence or a telexed
or cabled authorization;

(k) providing for the implementation of any
agreement or arrangement entered into under section 6;

(I) regulating or prohibiting the entry into any
fishing priority area, established under section 21, of
any class of vessel and prescribing any activities which
may not be undertaken in that area;

LAWS OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

2 2 CAP. 173) Fisheries

(m) providing for the licensing and control of fish
aggregated devices and for rights to fish aggregated by
such devices;

(n) regulating-

(i) the management and protection of marine
reserves and fishing priority areas,

(ii) the taking of coral and shells,

(iii) the setting of fishing fences,

(iv) the taking of aquarium fish,

(v) aquaculture development;

( 0 ) prescribing measures for the protection of
turtles, lobsters and conchs;

@I) to provide for the control or prohibition of the
import and export of fish;

(q) prescribing any other matter which is required
or authorized to be prescribed.

(3) The Minister may, by Regulation, provide that the
breach of any regulation made under this Act shall constitute
an offence and may provide for penalties on summary
conviction of a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.

Exemptions. 40. The Minister may, by Order published in the
Gazette, exempt any person or vessel, or establishment or class
of persons or vessels or establishments from any of the
requirements of this Act.

Commencement. 4 I . (1) Subject to sub-section (2), this Act shall come
into force on such date as the Minister may appoint by Order
published in the Gazette.

(2) The licensing provisions of this Act in respect of
local fishing operations shall not come into force until the
Minister by Order published in the Gazette declares that these
provisions are to come into effect.
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