Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act


Published: 1977-06-16

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Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act
FISHERIES RESOURCES (JURISDICTION AND
CONSERVATION)

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LRO 1/2006 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

FISHERIES RESOURCES (JURISDICTION AND
CONSERVATION)

CHAPTER 244

FISHERIES RESOURCES (JURISDICTION AND
CONSERVATION)

LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES

1 – 2 LRO 1/2006
3 – 20 Original
21 – 22 LRO 1/2006
23 – 27 Original



ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Fisheries inspectors.
4. Establishment of exclusive fishery zone.
5. Limits of exclusive fishery zone.
6. Legal character of the exclusive fishery zone.
7. Foreign fishing.
8. Fishery treaty.
9. Licences.
10. Fishery conservation and management principles and conditions.
11. Regulation of Bahamian fishing vessels to fish for fishery resources for

commercial purposes.
12. Boundaries.
13. Power to declare protected areas.
14. Power of seizure, arrest, etc.
15. Persons in custody to be brought before magistrate’s court or released.
16. Detention of vessels, etc.
17. Provisions relating to forfeiture.
18. Trial of offences.
19. Regulations.
20. Offences.
21. Restriction on export and import of fishery resources.
22. Restriction on long-line fishing.
23. Penalty for subsequent conviction of same offence.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

24. Penalty of possession.

SCHEDULE — Provisions relating to Forfeiture.

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CHAPTER 244

FISHERIES RESOURCES (JURISDICTION AND
CONSERVATION)

An Act to make provision with respect to the
conservation and management of the fishery resources
of The Bahamas and to extend the limits of the
jurisdiction of The Bahamas over such fishery
resources and for matters connected therewith or
incidental thereto.

[Assent 6th June, 1977]
[Commencement 16th June, 1977

(except section 21: 3rd March, 1986)]
1. This Act may be cited as the Fisheries Resources

(Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act.
2. (1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise

requires —
“Bahamian” in relation to a fishing vessel means —

(a) bona fide owned by a citizen of The
Bahamas resident in The Bahamas; or

(b) a company registered in The Bahamas
under the Companies Act in which all the
shares are beneficially owned by citizens
of The Bahamas resident in The Bahamas;

“beneficially owned” shall be construed as in section
300 of the Companies Act;

“commercial” in relation to fishing means the fishing
for any fishery resource for the purpose of
subsequent sale whether the person fishing for
the same does so on a full-time basis or part-
time basis;

“conservation and management” refers to all of the
rules, conditions, methods, and other measures
which are required to rebuild, restore, or
maintain, and which are useful in rebuilding,
restoring or maintaining any fishery resource
and the marine environment, and which are
designed to ensure that —

13 of 1977
7 of 1979
5 of 1985
28 of 1993
38 of 1993

Short title.

Interpretation.

Ch. 308.

Ch. 308.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) a supply of food and other products may be
taken and that recreational benefits may be
obtained, on a continuing basis;

(b) irreversible or long term adverse effects on
fishery resources and the marine
environment are avoided; and

(c) there will be a multiplicity of options
available with respect to the use of such
resources;

“continental shelf” means the continental shelf
appertaining to The Bahamas, that is to say, the
seabed and subsoil of the submarine areas
adjacent to the coasts, but outside the territorial
sea of The Bahamas, to a depth of two hundred
metres or, beyond that limit, to where the depth
of the superjacent waters admits of the
exploitation of the natural resources of the said
areas;

“court” means magistrate’s court;
“exclusive fishery zone” means the exclusive fishery

zone of The Bahamas established by section 4,
the limits of which are set out in section 5;

“fishery” means —
(a) one or more stocks of fish which can be

treated as a unit for the purposes of
conservation and management and which
are identified on the basis of geographical,
scientific, technical, recreational and
economic characteristics; and

(b) any fishing for such stocks;
“fishery resource” means fish of any kind found in

the sea (other than species of tuna, which in the
course of their life cycle, spawn and migrate
over great distances in waters of the ocean) and
includes living organisms belonging to
sedentary species, that is to say, organisms
which, at the harvestable stage, either are
immobile or under the seabed or are unable to
move except in constant physical contact with
the seabed or the subsoil of the continental
shelf;

“fishing” means the catching, taking or harvesting of
any fishery resource or any other activity which
can be reasonably expected to result in the
catching, taking or harvesting of such fishery
resource;

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“fishing vessel” or “vessel” means any vessel or
boat, of whatever size for the time being
employed by any person in fishing operations or
any operations ancillary thereto;

“foreign fishing” means fishing by a vessel other
than a vessel owned by a Bahamian;

“miles” means international nautical miles of 1,852
metres;

“optimum yield” means the amount of fishery
resources —
(a) which will provide the greatest overall

benefit to The Bahamas with particular
reference to food production and
recreational opportunities; and

(b) which is prescribed as such on the basis of
the maximum sustainable yield from such
fishery as modified by any relevant
economic, social or ecological factor.

(2) The Minister may, by notice published in the
Gazette, declare any species of living organism to be a
fishery resource for the purposes of this Act.

3. Every member of the Defence Force, every
officer of the revenue, every peace officer and every
officer of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
appointed for the purpose by the Minister by instrument in
writing shall be a fisheries inspector for the purpose of this
Act a and shall have and may exercise the functions
assigned to a fisheries inspector by or under this Act.

4. There is established for the purposes of this Act
a zone to be known as the exclusive fishery zone of The
Bahamas.

5. The outer boundary of the exclusive fishery
zone is a line drawn in such a manner that each point on it
is two hundred miles from the baseline from which the
territorial sea is measured:

Provided that where the distance between that
baseline and the territorial sea or the exclusive fishery zone
of a neighbouring state is less than two hundred miles, the
provisions of section 12 shall apply to the determination of
the outer boundary of the exclusive fishery zone.

Fisheries
inspectors.
7 of 1979, Sch.

Establishment of
exclusive fishery
zone.

Limits of
exclusive fishery
zone.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

6. (1) Within the exclusive fishery zone, The
Bahamas has sovereign rights and exclusive authority for
the purpose of exploring and exploiting, conserving and
managing the fishery resources of the seabed and subsoil
and superjacent waters.

(2) The superjacent waters of the exclusive fishery
zone outside the territorial sea of The Bahamas and beyond
any foreign state’s territorial sea, to the extent that such sea
is recognised by The Bahamas, remain subject to the
regime of the high seas for all purposes other than for the
purposes of exploration and exploitation, conservation and
management of the fishery resources or other than
purposes with respect to which coastal states are accorded
by international law exclusive jurisdiction.

7. No foreign fishing is authorised within the
exclusive fishery zone for any fishery resource in respect of
which The Bahamas exercises the sovereignty and authority
specified in section 6 unless such foreign fishing —

(a) is authorised by virtue of a treaty to which The
Bahamas is a party and such treaty is made
subject to sections 8 and 10 and is conducted
under and in accordance with a valid licence
granted by the Minister under section 9;

(b) is authorised by the Minister and is conducted
by a vessel owned or operated by an
international organisation of which The
Bahamas is a member;

(c) is authorised by the Minister and is conducted
for scientific or research purposes under the
authority of and in accordance with the terms
and conditions of a permit in that behalf granted
by the Minister to the person operating the
vessel;

(d) is conducted for sporting purposes in accordance
with any regulations made under this Act, by a
vessel which has first made entry in respect of
the voyage on which it is engaged at a port of
entry in The Bahamas or by a vessel which has
been imported into The Bahamas or constructed
in The Bahamas.

Legal character
of the exclusive
fishery zone.

Foreign fishing.

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8. Foreign fishing may be conducted pursuant to a
fishery treaty if such treaty satisfies the requirements of
this Act and includes as conditions of the treaty —

(a) that the foreign state acknowledges the exclusive
fishery conservation and management authority
of The Bahamas as set forth in this Act;

(b) the foreign state and the owner or operator of
any fishing vessel fishing pursuant to such treaty
will abide by the terms of the treaty, the
provisions of this Act and any regulations made
thereunder;

(c) the foreign state and the owner or operator of
any fishing vessel fishing pursuant to such treaty
will permit fisheries inspectors to enforce the
provisions of this Act and any regulations made
thereunder by allowing such inspectors to board
and search or inspect any fishing vessel of the
foreign state when it is within the exclusive
fishery zone and to make arrests and seizure
whenever such officers have reasonable cause to
believe as a result of such search or inspection
that any such vessel or any person thereon has
committed a breach of this Act or any
regulations made thereunder.

9. (1) Every foreign state with which The Bahamas
has entered into a fishery treaty shall submit an application
for a licence to the Minister before the first day of January
of each year in respect of every fishing vessel wishing to
fish in the exclusive fishery zone.

(2) Every application for a licence under this section
shall be in such form as the Minister may prescribe and
shall specify —

(a) the name and official registration number or
other identification of each vessel for which a
licence is sought;

(b) the name, address and nationality of the owner
of each vessel;

(c) the tonnage, capacity, speed, processing
equipment, type and quantity of fishing gear,
and such other information with respect to the
fishing characteristics of each vessel as the
Minister may require;

Fishery treaty.

Licences.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(d) the description of each fishery resource for
which each vessel wishes to fish;

(e) the quantities of fish or tonnage of catch
contemplated for each vessel during the time
such licence is in force;

(f) the area of the exclusive fishery zone in which,
and the season or period during which, such
fishing will be conducted.

(3) Subject to subsections (4) and (5), where the
Minister decides to grant a licence he shall grant the
licence to the owner or operator in respect of a named
vessel in accordance with —

(a) the provisions of this Act and the regulations
made thereunder;

(b) the terms and conditions of the relevant fishery
treaty; and

(c) the principles and conditions set forth in section
10.

(4) A licence may contain such conditions and
restrictions as appear to the Minister granting the licence to
be necessary or expedient for regulating the conservation
and management of the fishery resources of The Bahamas
and in particular a licence shall contain conditions and
restrictions —

(a) as to the requirements of any applicable fishery
management plan and any regulations made to
implement any such plan;

(b) as to the requirement that no licence may be
used by any vessel other than the vessel in
respect of which it is granted;

(c) as to any requirement provided for in the
relevant fishery treaty;

(d) as to the requirements that the vessel shall fish
only in the area of the exclusive fishery zone for
which the licence is granted and at the seasons
and periods indicated; and that the vessel shall
not engage while in the exclusive fishery zone in
any of the acts of cutting up, canning or
packaging of any fishery resource except in the
said area.

(5) A licence may not be granted to any vessel the
owner or operator of which is not a national of the foreign
state which is a party to the fishery treaty.

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(6) A licence shall be prominently displayed at all
times in the wheel-house of the vessel while the vessel is in
the exclusive fishery zone and the number of the licence
shall be painted on the vessel in such manner as the
Minister may prescribe.

(7) A licence may be revoked or suspended in any
case where the Minister is satisfied that there is a breach of
the terms and conditions of a fishery treaty or the
conditions and restrictions of the licence.

10. (1) The Governor-General may from time to
time determine the optimum yield of the fishery resources
of the exclusive fishery zone; in making that determination
the Governor-General shall take into account the need to
ensure, through proper conservation and management
measures, the maintenance of these resources or the
restoration of populations of harvested species at levels
which can produce the maximum sustainable yield. In
particular, he shall take into account relevant
environmental and economic factors, including the
economic needs of coastal fishing communities and the
special requirements of the development of The Bahamas,
fishing patterns, the inter-dependence of stocks and any
generally recommended subregional, regional or global
minimum standards, and the effects on species associated
with or dependent upon harvested species.

(2) The Governor-General may from time to time
determine the capacity of the fishing industry of The
Bahamas to harvest the fishery resources of the exclusive
fishery zone.

(3) The difference between the optimum yield and
the maximum capacity of the fishing industry of The
Bahamas as may be determined by the Governor-General
in accordance with subsections (1) and (2) may be the
allowable level of foreign fishing.

(4) An allocation to a foreign state or part of the
total allowable level of foreign fishing as determined by
the Governor-General may only be made in accordance
with the condition that the foreign state concerned enters
into a fishery treaty with The Bahamas in which there is
specified —

(a) the proportion of the total allowable level of
foreign fishing to be allocated to that foreign


Fishery
conservation and
management
principles and
conditions.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

state, taking into account the extent to which
fishermen of that foreign state have traditionally
engaged in fishing activity in the fishery
concerned;

(b) the number, identification and characteristics of
the fishing vessels of that foreign state which are
to be granted licences to fish in the exclusive
fishery zone;

(c) that the fishing vessels of that foreign state will
comply with the regulations made under this Act
for the conservation and management of the
fishery resources of The Bahamas;

(d) that access to the market of that foreign state
shall be granted for the fishery resources and
fishery products harvested by the fishermen of
The Bahamas in the exclusive fishery zone;

(e) that that foreign state will extend substantially
the same fishing privileges to fishing vessels
owned by Bahamians as The Bahamas extends
to the fishing vessels owned by citizens of that
foreign state.

(5) For the purposes of subsections (1), (2) and (3),
“the exclusive fishery zone” means that part of the waters
thereof the inner boundary of which is a line drawn in such
a manner that each point on it is twelve miles from the
baseline from which the territorial sea is measured.

11. (1) No person shall use a Bahamian fishing
vessel to fish for any fishery resource for commercial
purposes within the exclusive fishery zone, unless, there is
in force in relation to such vessel, a valid permit in that
behalf granted by the Minister in the prescribed manner,
authorising the vessel to be so used.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a Bahamian
fishing vessel which is twenty feet or less in length:

Provided that the Minister may by notice published
in the Gazette apply subsection (1) to all Bahamian fishing
vessels.

(3) Upon the Minister being satisfied that an
applicant for a permit mentioned in subsection (1) is —

(a) a Bahamian; and
(b) the owner of the fishing vessel in respect of

which the application has been made,

Regulation of
Bahamian fishing
vessels to fish for
fishery resources
for commercial
purposes.

5 of 1985, s. 2.

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the Minister shall, upon payment of the prescribed fee,
grant to the applicant in the prescribed form a permit which
shall expire on the thirty-first December of the year of
issue.

(4) If any Bahamian fishing vessel is used in
contravention of subsection (1) —

(a) the person using the vessel, the owner and also
the master or other person in charge of the
vessel shall each be guilty of an offence and
liable on summary conviction to a fine of ten
thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term
of one year or to both;

(b) the vessel so used shall be liable to forfeiture
whether by the court upon such conviction or on
acquittal or otherwise by any court in
proceedings taken for its condemnation.

(5) For the purposes of this section it shall be prima
facie evidence that a fishing vessel was being used to fish
for fishery resource for commercial purposes if it is shown
that at the time the vessel was inspected to determine
whether an offence under this Act was committed, there
was on board such fishery resource in a quantity of not less
than two hundred and fifty pounds in weight.

12. (1) Subject to subsection (3), where the
exclusive fishery zone of The Bahamas meets the limits of
the territorial sea, continental shelf or exclusive fishery
zone of a neighbouring state, to the extent only to which
such limits are recognised by The Bahamas to be validly
established pursuant to international law, the Governor-
General may initiate and conduct negotiations with that
state to establish the boundary of the exclusive fishery zone
in relation to the territorial sea, continental shelf or
exclusive fishery zone of that state.

(2) In the absence of agreement on the boundary of
the exclusive fishery zone with the territorial sea,
continental shelf or exclusive fishery zone with the
territorial sea, continental shelf or exclusive fishery zone of
a neighbouring state, the following shall be the limits of the
exclusive fishery zone —

Boundaries.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(a) in the case of the fishery resources of the waters
of the exclusive fishery zone, a line every point
of which is twelve miles distant from the
baseline from which the territorial sea of that
state is drawn;

(b) in the case of the fishery resources of the seabed
and subsoil —

(i) where there is a continuous continental
shelf between The Bahamas and the
neighbouring state, a line every point of
which is equidistant from the edge of the
Great and Little Bahama Banks and the
baselines from which the territorial sea
limits of that state are drawn, and, in areas
other than the Great and Little Bahama
Banks, a line every point of which is
equidistant from the baselines respectively
from which the territorial sea limits of The
Bahamas and that state are drawn;

(ii) where there is not a continuous continental
shelf between The Bahamas and the
neighbouring state, the limits of the
continental shelf of that state shall be as
determined by international law:

Provided, however, that in contemplation of such
agreement being reached the Governor-General may by
order fix another limit temporarily or by interim agreement
with the neighbouring state.

(3) The Governor-General in the exercise of his
powers under this section shall take into account that The
Bahamas has long exercised sovereignty over, and enjoys
exclusive authority for the purposes of exploring and
exploiting, conserving and managing of, the Great and
Little Bahama Banks.

13. (1) The Minister may by order declare any area
of the waters within the exclusive fishery zone whether
alone or together with any area of land adjacent to such
waters to be a protected area for the purposes of this Act.

(2) Any order made under this section may prohibit
fishing for any fishery resource whatever or for any fishery
resource specified in the order, by any person otherwise


Power to declare
protected areas.

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than under the authority of and in accordance with the
terms and conditions of a permit in that behalf granted to
that person for that purpose.

(3) Any person who takes any fishery resource in a
protected area in contravention of the provisions of any
order made under this section in respect of such area or of
any term or condition attached to a permit granted under
such an order shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of section
21, to a fine of seven hundred and fifty dollars or to
imprisonment for a term of six months or to both.

(4) Where any person is found within a protected
area in possession of any fishery resource the fishing for
which within that area is prohibited by an order made
under this section, he shall be deemed, until the contrary is
proved, to have taken that fishery resource within that area.

14. (1) A fisheries inspector may at any time stop,
go on board and search any fishing vessel within the
exclusive fishery zone, and if he has reason to suspect that
any person on board such vessel has contravened any of
the provisions of this Act or of any regulations made
thereunder, he may without summons, warrant or other
process seize the vessel and detain it and any person found
on board.

(2) A fisheries inspector may at any time without
summons, warrant or other process seize and detain any
vessel or thing which is liable to forfeiture under this Act
or which he has reasonable grounds to believe is so liable.

(3) A fisheries inspector and any person whom he
may call to his assistance may arrest and detain without
warrant any person whom such inspector has reason to
suspect has committed or permitted any offence against
this Act.

(4) Any person who resists or obstructs any
fisheries inspector in the exercise of any of his powers
conferred by this section, shall be guilty of an offence and
liable upon summary conviction to a fine of five hundred
dollars, and such person may be detained by the fisheries
inspector.

(5) Where any vessel or thing is seized or detained
or any person is detained under this section by a fisheries
inspector, the inspector shall take such vessel, thing or


Power of seizure,
arrest, etc.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

person as soon as maybe to the nearest or most convenient
place in The Bahamas and there deliver it or him into the
custody of the most senior police officer.

15. Where on delivering any person into the custody
of a police officer in accordance with the provisions of
section 14 —

(a) the fisheries inspector makes a complaint to
such officer that such person has committed an
offence against this Act, the police officer shall
as soon as may be cause such person to be
brought before a magistrate’s court to be dealt
with according to law; or

(b) the fisheries inspector does not make any such
complaint, the police officer shall forthwith
release such person.

16. (1) Where any fishing vessel or thing is
delivered into the custody of a police officer at any place
by a fisheries inspector in accordance with the provisions
of section 14, such vessel or thing shall be detained in the
custody of the Commissioner of Police to the order of the
Minister at that place or at such other place as the Minister
may direct until the same shall be forfeited or released in
accordance with the provisions of this section, as the case
may be.

(2) Any vessel or thing detained under the
provisions of subsection (1) shall be released upon demand
to the owner or his duly accredited agent —

(a) within the period of seven days next following
the date of delivery of the vessel or thing to the
police officer, if no proceedings are instituted
within the period against the master or other
person in charge of the vessel or thing in respect
of an offence against this Act; or

(b) in any case where such proceedings are
instituted as aforesaid and the vessel or thing is
not liable or ordered to be forfeited under the
provisions of this Act, upon the final
determination of the proceedings and the
payment of any fine imposed by the court in
such proceedings within the time prescribed by
the court for such payment.

Persons in
custody to be
brought before
magistrate’s
court or released.

Detention of
vessels, etc.

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(3) Any vessel or thing detained under the
provisions of subsection (1) shall be subject to a lien in
favour of the Government for the amount of any fine
imposed by the court upon the master or other person in
charge thereof in any proceedings in respect of an offence
against this Act, and if such fine shall not have been paid
by the due date for payment thereof, the Minister may, at
any time thereafter, subject as in this subsection provided,
after first serving upon the owner or the master or other
person in charge of the vessel or thing at the time of its
seizure notice in writing of his intention so to do, sell the
vessel or thing by public auction and deduct the amount of
the fine or fines unpaid and the expenses incurred in selling
the vessel or thing from the proceeds of the sale and pay
the balance to the Treasurer, to be held by the Treasurer
and paid by him to such person as shall satisfy him that he
is entitled thereto:

Provided that if within the period of fourteen days
next following the date of service of a notice under this
subsection upon the owner, master or other person in
charge of a vessel or thing, such owner, master or other
person pays to the court the amount of any fine or fines
unpaid, and pays to the Minister the amount of any
expenses incurred by the Minister in respect of the
proposed sale, the Minister shall not offer such vessel or
thing for sale but shall release the vessel or thing to such
owner, master or other person.

(4) No action shall lie at the suit of any person
against the Treasurer in respect of the payment by him in
good faith of any moneys under subsection (3) to any
person appearing to him to be entitled to the same.

(5) The owner of a vessel detained under subsection
(1) and in relation to which proceedings have been
instituted as aforesaid or of any vessel removed or detained
by reason of a breach of any regulations made under this
Act or for non-payment of any sum due to the Government
in accordance with any agreement shall, notwithstanding
anything to the contrary in this section, be liable to
reimburse the Government the reasonable expenses as, at
the date of any claim therefor, may have been incurred by
the Government in the upkeep, maintenance and removal
of the vessel as the case may be and until such
reimbursement the Government may, subject to subsection
(8), refuse to release the vessel detained.

5 of 1985, s. 3.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(6) After a demand in writing for payment of such
expenses has been made upon the owner or master or other
person in charge of the vessel at the time of its seizure or
removal, or, in the absence of their identity or
whereabouts, notice of demand having been affixed on a
conspicuous place of the vessel and a copy thereof
published in the Gazette, proceedings may be instituted in
a court of summary jurisdiction for the recovery of such
expenses irrespective of the amount as a debt due and
payable to the Government.

(7) Any document to be filed in the court and served
upon the owner or master of the vessel in respect of
proceedings referred to in subsection (6) shall be deemed
to have been duly filed and served for the purpose of any
law if such document is addressed to the owner or master
by name, or, if it is not practicable after reasonable inquiry
to ascertain the name and address of the owner or master to
or on whom it should be served, it is addressed by
description of “owner” of the vessel (naming it) to which it
relates and by affixing it to some conspicuous part of the
vessel.

(8) The provisions of subsections (3) and (4) as they
apply in relation to the manner of the recovery of a fine
and the disposal of proceeds of a sale mentioned in those
subsections, shall, mutatis mutandis, apply in relation go
the recovery of any sum awarded to the Government
pursuant to proceedings referred to in subsection (6) or in
respect of expenses incurred by the Government in relation
to a vessel by reason of a breach of this Act; save that
where any notice is required to be served as mentioned in
subsection (3) the same, if necessary, may be served in the
manner provided in subsection (7).

(9) In subsection (3), “Minister” means the Minister
of Finance.

17. (1) The provisions of the Schedule shall have
effect for the purpose of forfeitures, and proceedings for
the condemnation of any vessel or thing as being forfeited,
under this Act.

(2) Subject to the provisions of the said Schedule,
any vessel or thing seized or detained under the provisions
of this Act as being liable to forfeiture shall, if condemned
or deemed to have been condemned as forfeited, be
disposed of in such manner as the Minister may direct.

5 of 1985, s. 3.

5 of 1985, s. 3.

5 of 1985, s. 3.

28 of 1993, s. 2.

Provisions
relating to
forfeiture.
Schedule.

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(3) In subsection (2), “Minister” means the Minister
of Finance.

18. (1) Where any offence against any of the
provisions of this Act or of any regulations made
thereunder is committed at some place on the water within
the exclusive fishery zone but outside the limits of any
district within which any magistrate has jurisdiction under
the Magistrates Act (or any other statute for the time being
in force regulating the jurisdiction of magistrates), the
place of the commission of the offence shall for the
purposes of the jurisdiction of any court be deemed to be
the place in The Bahamas where the offender is found or to
which he is first brought after the commission of the
offence.

(2) The jurisdiction under subsection (1) shall be in
addition to and not in derogation of any jurisdiction or
power of any court under any other enactment.

19. (1) The Minister may make regulations for any
or all of the following purposes —

(a) for the conservation and management of the
fishery resources of the exclusive fishery zone
which are consistent with this Act and with the
following standards —

(i) conservation and management measures
shall prevent overfishing while achieving
the optimum yield from each fishery
resource;

(ii) conservation and management measures
shall be based upon the best available
scientific information;

(iii) to the extent practicable, an individual
stock of fish shall be managed as a unit
throughout its range, and interrelated
stocks of fish shall be managed as a unit or
in close co-ordination;

(iv) conservation and management measures,
where practicable shall promote efficiency
in the utilisation of fishery resources;
except that no such measure shall have
economic allocation as its sole purpose;

28 of 1993, s. 3.

Trial of offences.

Regulations.
5 of 1985, s. 4.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(v) conservation and management measures
shall take into account and allow for
variations among, and contingencies in,
fisheries, fishery resources and catches;

(vi) conservation and management measures
shall where practicable minimise costs and
unnecessary duplication;

(b) regulating the taking of any species or kind of
fishery resource (whether by reference to size or
weight or otherwise) absolutely or during such
period or periods as may be specified anywhere
within the exclusive fishery zone;

(c) limiting the quantity of any fishery resource
which may be taken by any person;

(d) prohibiting the taking of any fishery resource by
any specified method within the exclusive
fishery zone;

(e) prohibiting the use of any engine, dredge, trap or
device for the purpose of taking any fishery
resource within the exclusive fishery zone;

(f) restricting the possession on board a fishing
vessel of any noxious, poisonous or explosive
substance or of any engine, dredge, trap or other
device prohibited for use in taking of any fishery
resource by any regulations made under
paragraph (d) of this subsection;

(g) providing for the grant of permits and licences,
their terms and conditions and for the transfer,
amendment and revocation of such permits and
licences;

(h) prescribing the fees to be charged in respect of
the grant, transfer or amendment of any permit
or licence;

(i) prescribing the export duty to be paid in respect
of the export of any fishery resource from The
Bahamas;

(j) prescribing the forms of applications of permits
and licences;

(k) prescribing the size and type of construction of
any trap, net or seine and prohibiting the use for
the purpose of taking any fishery resource of any
trap, net or seine other than a trap, net or seine
of the prescribed size of mesh;

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(l) Providing for the grant of permits for the
purpose of trapping crawfish, their terms and
conditions and for the suspension and
cancellation of such permits;

(m) regulating the size of any fishery resource which
may be in the possession of any person;

(n) providing for the regulation of the sale of any
fishery resource to the public and for the
inspection, grading, packing, processing,
preserving and storage of any fishery resource
intended for human consumption whether within
or outside The Bahamas and for the charging of
fees for the inspection of any such fishery
resource;

(o) prescribing the places at which any fishery
resource may be landed or sold;

(p) for the control, management and regulation of
any undertaking established by the Government
for the marketing and distribution to the public
of any fishery resource and including the
premises, wherever such undertaking is
conducted and the waters adjacent thereto;

(q) for the provision and rendering by any
undertaking carried on by the Government of
services in or incidental to the marketing,
storage, and distribution of fishery resource
upon payment of such fees and subject to such
terms as are prescribed or as the Minister sees
fit;

(r) providing for the manner of and the measures
that may be taken for securing the enforcement
of the payment and recovery of fees payable to
the Government for services rendered by any
undertaking established for the marketing of
fishery resource;

(s) providing for the examination, seizure and
disposal of any fishery resource which in the
opinion of the fisheries inspector was obtained
or was involved in any transaction in breach of
any regulations made under this Act or which is
in such a state as to be injurious to health;

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(t) providing for the inspection of premises by a
fisheries inspector who has reasonable cause to
believe that such premises are being used in
contravention of any regulations made under this
Act;

(u) providing for the keeping of records by any
person holding a licence or permit under this Act
and the inspection and taking of copies thereof
by any fishery inspector for the purposes of
determining whether or not any offence has been
committed;

(v) providing for the constitution of offences and
the imposition of penalties therefor by reason of
the breach of any regulations made under this
Act and for measures affecting the burden of
proof of such offences under this Act;

(w) providing for the seizure and removal of any
vessel from the premises of any undertaking to
which paragraph (p) applies and the recovery by
the Government of any expenses for so doing;

(x) empowering the court by which any person is
found guilty in respect of the use of any trap,
net, seine or other device in contravention of any
such regulation to order the confiscation of such
trap, net, seine or device;

(y) regulating sports fishing by vessels by means of
licences or otherwise;

(z) prescribing anything to be prescribed under the
provisions of this Act.

(2) No regulation shall be made under subsection
(1) so as to come into operation before a date to
be appointed by the Minister by notice published
in the Gazette (hereafter in this Act referred to
as “the appointed day”) 1.

20. Subject to subsection (3), where any fishing
vessel engages in foreign fishing in the exclusive fishery
zone for any fishery resource —

(a) the owner and also the master or other person in
charge of the vessel and every person who so
uses it shall be guilty of an offence and liable on
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of
section 23, to a fine of fifty thousand dollars or
to imprisonment for a term of one year or to
both;


1 3rd March, 1986.

Offences.
5 of 1985, s. 5.

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(b) the vessel used in such fishing shall be liable to
forfeiture whether by the court upon such
conviction or on acquittal or otherwise by any
court in proceedings taken for its condemnation.

(2) Where any fishery resource is found on board
any fishing vessel within the exclusive fishery zone or
where any fishery resource is landed, or placed in any
crawl, from any such fishing vessel at any creek, island or
cay within The Bahamas, such fishery resource shall be
deemed, until the contrary be proved, to have been taken
within the exclusive fishery zone by a person on board
such fishing vessel and where the fishery resource is the
result of anything done in contravention of the provisions
of this Act, it shall be seized and be liable to forfeiture.

(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall apply to any
vessel which engages in foreign fishing in the exclusive
fishery zone for any fishery resource having been so
authorised under section 7(a), (b) or (c) or for sporting
purposes in accordance with section 7(d).

(4) Any person who being a non-Bahamian uses a
Bahamian fishing vessel to fish for any fishery resource for
commercial purposes within the exclusive fishery zone or
is found employed on such a vessel in any capacity
whatever, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of section
21, to a fine of two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for
a term of six months or to both, unless such person has first
been granted a permit in accordance with the provisions of
the Immigration Act, so to do.

(5) Any person who being the owner, master or
other person in charge of a Bahamian fishing vessel
permits a non-Bahamian to use such vessel to fish for any
fishery resource for commercial purposes within the
exclusive fishery zone, or employs a non-Bahamian on
such vessel, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of section
23, to a fine of two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for
a term of six months or to both, unless the person so
permitted to use the vessel or so employed has first been
granted a permit in accordance with the provisions of the
Immigration Act, so to do.

5 of 1985, s. 5.

5 of 1985, s. 5.

Ch. 191.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2006

21. (1) No person shall, otherwise than as prescribed
or under the authority of and in accordance with the terms
of a licence granted to that person for the purpose by the
Minister —

(a) export any fishery resource from The Bahamas;
(b) import into The Bahamas any fishery resource

specified by the Minister by notice published in
the Gazette as requiring such a licence.

(2) Any person who exports or imports any fishery
resource in contravention of the provisions of this section
or of any term or condition attached to a licence granted
thereunder, shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of section
23, to a fine of five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for
a term of six months or to both.

22. (1) Except with written permission of the
Governor-General, no person shall —

(a) have in his possession on a fishing vessel, any
apparatus intended for use in long-line fishing;
or

(b) use for fishing within the exclusive economic
zone, any apparatus for long-line fishing,

and such permission may only be given where it is shown
to the satisfaction of the Governor-General that the pursuit
of long-line fishing, in the particular instance, would not
endanger elements essential to sustainable fishery
development and would not prejudice the development and
expansion of eco-tourism in The Bahamas.

(2) For the purposes of proceedings (for an offence
of being in possession of any apparatus or for using any
apparatus in breach of the provisions of this section, it shall
be presumed until the contrary is shown that —

(a) the captain or other person in charge of the
vessel wherein the apparatus is proven to have
been found and every member of the crew of the
vessel at the time, were each in possession of the
apparatus;

Restriction on
export and
import of fishery
resources.
5 of 1985, s. 6.

Restriction on
long-line fishing.

38 of 1993, s. 2.

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(b) the captain or other person in charge of the
vessel on or from which the apparatus is proven
to have been used and every member of the crew
at the time, were each using the apparatus;

(c) fish found in any vessel on which any apparatus
is proven to have been found, have been
captured or taken by means of that apparatus;
and

(d) apparatus proven to have been found on vessel
within the waters of The Bahamas, was intended
for use in long-line fishing within those waters,
if the apparatus found is normally used in long-
line fishing.

(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of
subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and liable on
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of section
23, to a fine of not less than fifty thousand dollars but not
exceeding one hundred thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for a term of one year or to both such fine
and imprisonment; and the court shall, in addition to any
other penalty, order the confiscation of any apparatus used
in the commission, or that is the subject matter, of the
offence and the apparatus so confiscated shall be forfeited
to the Crown.

(4) In this section —
“long-line fishing” includes fishing by means of a

line or cable to which is attached along the line
or cable, not less than ten fish hocks and which
line or cable extends or is capable of extending
beyond twenty yards from the point where it is
cast.

23. If any person, having been convicted of an
offence against any provision of this Act or of any
regulations made thereunder, is convicted of a further
offence against that provision, then, notwithstanding
anything to the contrary, he shall be liable upon conviction
of such further offence —

(a) to a fine not exceeding double the amount or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding double
the term (hereinafter respectively referred to as a
“double fine” and “double imprisonment”)
which might otherwise have been imposed in
respect of that offence; or

Penalty for
subsequent
conviction of
same offence.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

(b) in a case where both a fine and a term of
imprisonment may be imposed in respect of a
first offence, to both such double fine and
double imprisonment.

24. (1) Any person, whether holding a licence or
permit or not, found in possession of any article prohibited
to be used, or any fishery resource prohibited to be taken,
by virtue of any licence, permit or regulation made under
this Act and failing to give a satisfactory explanation of
such possession shall be guilty of an offence and liable on
summary conviction, subject to the provisions of section
23, to a fine of five thousand dollars r to imprisonment for
a term of one year or to both.

(2) The fact that any act or omission constitutes an
offence both under subsection (1) and a regulation made
under this Act shall not render that regulation invalid and
proceedings for that offence may be instituted under that
subsection or regulation but so that no person shall be
punished twice in respect of the same offence.

SCHEDULE (Section 17)

PROVISIONS RELATING TO FORFEITURE
Notice of Seizure

1. The Minister shall give notice of the seizure of any thing
as liable to forfeiture, and of the grounds thereof, to any person
who to his knowledge was at the time of seizure the owner or
one of the owners thereof:

Provided that notice shall not be required to be given under
this paragraph if the seizure was made in the presence of —
(a) the person whose offence or suspected offence occasioned

the seizure; or
(b) the owner or any of the owners of the thing seized or any

servant or agent of his; or
(c) in the case of any thing seized in any ship, the master.

2. Notice under paragraph 1 of this Schedule shall be given
in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly served on the
person concerned —
(a) if delivered to him personally; or

Penalty of
possession.

5 of 1985, s. 7.

5 of 1985, s. 7.

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(b) if addressed to him and left or forwarded by post to him at his
usual or last known place of abode or business or, in the case
of a body corporate, at its registered or principal office; or

(c) where he has no address within The Bahamas, or his address
is unknown, by publication of notice of the seizure in the
Gazette.

Notice of Claim
3. Any person claiming that any thing seized as liable to

forfeiture is not so liable (hereafter in this Schedule referred to as a
“claimant”) shall, within one month of the date of the notice of
seizure or, where no such notice has been served on him, within one
month of the date of the seizure, give notice of his claim in writing
to the Minister.

4. Any notice under paragraph 3 of this Schedule shall specify
the name and address of the claimant, and, in the case of a claimant
who is outside The Bahamas, shall specify the name and address of
an attorney in The Bahamas who is authorised to accept service of
process and to act on behalf of the claimant, and service of process
upon an attorney so specified shall be deemed to be proper service
upon the claimant.

Condemnation
5. If on the expiration of the relevant period aforesaid for the

giving of notice of claim in respect of any thing no such notice has
been given to the Minister, or if in the case of any such notice
given, any requirement of paragraph 4 of this Schedule is not
complied with, the provisions of paragraph 6 in relation to the
taking of proceedings and the powers of the court shall apply
without any requirement, unless the court otherwise directs, for
notice thereof to be given to any person mentioned in paragraph 1.

6. Where notice of claim in respect of any thing is duly given
in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this Schedule, the
Attorney-General on behalf of the Minister shall take proceedings
for the condemnation of that thing by the Supreme Court, and if the
Court finds that the thing was at the time of seizure liable to
forfeiture the Court shall condemn it as forfeited.

7. Where any thing is in accordance with either of paragraph 5
of 6 of this Schedule condemned or deemed to have been
condemned as forfeited, then, without prejudice to any delivery up
or sale of the thing by the Minister under paragraph 14 of this
Schedule, the forfeiture shall have effect as from the date when the
liability to forfeiture arose.

Court Proceeding for Condemnation
8. Proceedings for condemnation shall be civil proceedings

and shall be instituted in the Supreme Court by motion.

5 of 1985, s. 8.

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STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS [Original Service 2001]

9. (1) In any such proceedings —
(a) the claimant or his attorney shall make oath that the thing

seized was, or was to the best of his knowledge and belief, the
property of the claimant at the time of the seizure; and

(b) the claimant shall give such security for the costs of the
proceedings as may be determined by the Court.
(2) If any requirement of subparagraph (1) of this

paragraph is not complied with the Court shall give judgment for
the Attorney-General.

10. Where an appeal has been made against the decision of
the Court in any proceedings for the condemnation of anything, that
thing shall, pending the final determination of the matter, be left in
the custody of the Commissioner of Police.

Provisions as to Proof
11. In any proceedings arising out of the seizure of any

thing, the fact, form and manner of the seizure shall be taken to
have been as set forth in the process without further evidence
thereof, unless the contrary is proved.

12. In any proceedings, the condemnation by the Supreme
Court of any thing as forfeited may be proved by the production
either of the order or certificate of condemnation or of a certified
copy thereof purporting to be signed by the Registrar.

Special Provisions as to certain Claimants
13. For the purposes of any claim to, proceedings for the

condemnation of, any thing, where that thing is at the time of
seizure the property of a body corporate, of two or more partners or
of any number of persons exceeding five, the oath required by this
Schedule to be taken and any other thing required by this Schedule
or by any rules of the Supreme Court to be done, by, or by any
person authorised by, the claimant or owner may be taken or done
by, or by any other person authorised by, the following persons
respectively, that is to say —
(a) where the owner is a body corporate, the secretary or some

duly authorised officer of that body;
(b) where the owners are in partnership, any one of those owners;
(c) where the owners are any number of persons exceeding five

not being in partnership, any two of those persons on behalf of
themselves and their co-owners.

Power to deal with seizures before Condemnation, etc.
14. Where anything has been seized as liable to forfeiture

the Minister may at any time if he sees fit and notwithstanding that
the thing has not yet been condemned, or is not yet deemed to have
been condemned, as forfeited —

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(a) deliver it up to any claimant upon his paying to the
Minister such sum as the Minister thinks proper, being a
sum not exceeding that which in the Minister’s opinion
represents the value of the thing, including any duty or tax
chargeable thereon which has not been paid; or

(b) if the thing seized is a living creature or is in the opinion of
the Minister of a perishable nature, sell or destroy it.
15. (1) If, where any thing is delivered up, sold or

destroyed as aforesaid, it is held in proceedings taken under this
Schedule that the thing was not liable to forfeiture at the time of
its seizure, the Minister shall on demand by the claimant tender
to him —
(a) an amount equal to any sum paid by him under

subparagraph (a) of paragraph 14 of this Schedule; or
(b) where the Minister has sold the thing an amount equal to

the proceeds of sale; or
(c) where the Minister has destroyed the thing, an amount

equal to the market value of the thing at the time of its
seizure:
Provided that where the said amount includes any sum on

account of any duty or tax chargeable on the thing which had not
been paid before its seizure the Minister may deduct so much of
that amount as represents that duty or tax.

(2) If the claimant accepts any amount tendered to him
under subparagraph (1) of this paragraph, he shall not be entitled
to maintain any action on account of the seizure, detention, sale
or destruction of the thing.

(3) For the purposes of head (c) of subparagraph (1) of
this paragraph, the market value of any thing at the time of its
seizure shall be taken to be such amount as the Minister and the
claimant may agree or, in default of agreement, as may be
determined by a referee appointed by the Chief Justice, not
being an official of any Government Department, whose
decision shall be final and conclusive; and the procedure on any
reference to a referee shall be such as may be determined by the
referee.

Interpretation
16. In this Schedule, “Minister” means the Minister of

Finance.