Marine Mammal Protection Act


Published: 2005-08-10

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Marine Mammal Protection Act
MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION [CH.244A – 1





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

CHAPTER 244A

MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION


LIST OF AUTHORISED PAGES
1 - 12 LRO 1/2008

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Prohibits import, etc. without a permit or licence.
4. Prohibits taking, harassing, etc. of a marine mammal.
5. Power of Minister to grant licence or permit.
6. Prohibits operation of captive marine mammal facility without

a licence.
7. Marine mammal inspectors.
8. Immunity of marine mammal inspectors.
9. Interference of marine mammal inspectors.
10. Liability of operator.
11. Persons in custody to be brought before Magistrate’s Court.
12. Detention of seized vehicles.
13. Release of detained vehicles on bond.
14. Powers of court.
15. Presumptions.
16. Onus of proof.
17. Disposal of vessels etc. forfeited.
18. Penalties.
19. Regulations.




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CHAPTER 244A

MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION

An Act to make provision for the protection of
marine mammals.


[Assent 2nd August, 2005]

[Commencement 10th August, 2005]
1. This Act may be cited as the Marine Mammal

Protection Act.
2. In this Act —
“captive marine mammal” means a marine mammal

under human care and maintained in a captive
marine mammal facility;

“captive marine mammal facility” means premises
open to the public and licensed under section 6,
for the holding, maintenance and display of
marine mammals belonging to the family
Delphinidae and any other marine mammal that
the Minister may designate by Order published in
the Gazette;

“exclusive economic zone” means the exclusive
economic zone of The Bahamas as set out in
section 8 of the Archipelagic Waters and
Maritime Jurisdiction Act;

“inter island” means existing or occurring between
two or more islands;

“marine mammal” means any mammal which is
morphologically adapted to the marine
environment;

“marine mammal product” means any item which
consists, or is composed in whole or in part, of
any marine mammal;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for wild
animals;

“The Bahamas” includes the exclusive economic
zone;

12 of 2005

S.I. 71/2005.

Short title.

Interpretation.

Ch. 282.

CH.244A – 4] MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

“vehicle” includes a motor vehicle, aircraft or boat;
“wild occurring marine mammal” means any marine

mammal that is free roaming and is not confined
by any man made boundary.

3. (1) No person shall, except pursuant to a licence
or permit granted by the Minister under section 5 —

(a) import, or attempt to import into The Bahamas,
any marine mammal or marine mammal product;

(b) export, or attempt to export, from The Bahamas,
any marine mammal or marine mammal product;

(c) sell, or attempt to sell a marine mammal or a
marine mammal product;

(d) possess, or attempt to possess, within The
Bahamas, any marine mammal or marine
mammal product;

(e) conduct, or attempt to conduct scientific research
within The Bahamas on any marine mammal;

(f) transport, or attempt to transport, inter-island or
intra-island within The Bahamas, any marine
mammal;

(g) operate a vehicle for commercial purposes within
The Bahamas to engage in or facilitate the
observation or interaction with any wild
occurring marine mammal.

(2) A person who contravenes any of the provisions
of this section commits an offence.

4. (1) No person shall take, harass, hunt, kill or
attempt to take, harass, hunt, kill any marine mammal
within The Bahamas.

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply —
(a) where it is necessary that a marine mammal be

taken to ensure the preservation of such marine
mammal;

(b) to a person authorized to rescue or attempt to
rescue a stranded or beached marine mammal.

(3) A person who rescues a stranded or beached
marine mammal pursuant to subsection (2) shall provide a
report to the Minister within forty-eight hours of the
stranding and of any actions taken.

Prohibits import,
etc. without a
permit or licence.

Prohibits taking,
harassing, etc. of
a marine
mammal.

MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION [CH.244A – 5





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(4) A person who contravenes any of the provisions
of this section commits an offence.

5. (1) The Minister may upon application grant to a
person a licence or permit pursuant to section 3(1) if the
Minister is satisfied that —

(a) it is necessary that a marine mammal product be
imported into The Bahamas for the preservation
of a marine mammal or for scientific research or
educational purposes;

(b) a marine mammal should be imported for captive
purposes in a licensed facility;

(c) it is necessary that a marine mammal be exported
from The Bahamas for the preservation of that
marine mammal;

(d) it is necessary that a marine mammal product be
exported from The Bahamas for the preservation
of that product or for scientific research or
educational purposes;

(e) a marine mammal held in a facility should be sold
due to that facility having exceeded its permitted
carrying capacity or for the well being of the
marine mammal;

(f) a marine mammal should be transported within
The Bahamas;

(g) the scientific research proposed should be
conducted on marine mammals or marine
mammal products within The Bahamas;

(h) it is necessary to allow a person to operate a
vehicle to transport or attempt to transport within
The Bahamas any marine mammal;

(i) it is necessary to allow a person to operate a
vehicle to engage in or facilitate the observation
or interaction with any wild occurring marine
mammal;

(j) it is necessary to ensure compliance with any
local laws and international conventions to which
The Bahamas is a party.

(2) Every licence or permit granted under the
provisions of this section shall be subject to such terms and
conditions as the Minister thinks fit.

Power of
Minister to grant
licence or permit.

CH.244A – 6] MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(3) The Minister may prescribe the manner in which
any of the purposes for which a licence or permit is
granted, is to be carried out.

(4) The Minister shall prior to granting a permit or
licence under this section take into consideration the
highest international practices and protocols in respect of
marine mammals.

(5) The Minister may revoke or refuse to renew a
licence or permit issued under this section —

(a) where there is a breach of the Act or any
regulations made thereunder;

(b) where there is a breach of the terms or conditions
for which the licence or permit has been issued;
or

(c) where it is necessary to ensure the sustainability
of marine mammals in The Bahamas.

(6) The Minister shall prior to revoking a licence
give notice to the licensee stipulating the grounds on which
he proposes to revoke the licence and the Minister shall
afford the licensee an opportunity to explain why the
licence should not be revoked, and may give to the licensee
an opportunity to remedy any default within such period as
the Minister may specify.

(7) For the purposes of this section, “scientific
research” means research, the results of which —

(a) are likely to be accepted for publication in a
referred scientific journal;

(b) are likely to contribute to the basic knowledge of
marine mammal biology or ecology; or

(c) are likely to identify, evaluate, or resolve
conservation problems.

6. (1) No person shall operate a captive marine
mammal facility for any purpose unless —

(a) that person obtains a licence to operate a captive
marine mammal facility; and

(b) the premises are licensed to be operated as a
captive marine mammal facility.

(2) The Minister may upon application grant a
licence to operate a captive marine mammal facility if the

Prohibits
operation of
captive marine
mammal facility
without a licence.

MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION [CH.244A – 7





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

Minister is satisfied that the applicant is fit to be the holder
of such a licence.

(3) The Minister may upon application grant to a
person a licence for premises to be used as a captive
mammal facility if the Minister is satisfied that —

(a) the premises and location with regard to
neighboring premises;

(b) the proposed facilities and equipment;
(c) the operation of the facility;
(d) the proposed marine mammal husbandry

programme;
(e) the proposed education programmes and

human/marine mammal interactive programmes;
and

(f) any proposed scientific research and exhibits,

are in keeping with the standards and guidelines as are
prescribed.

(4) The Minister may revoke or refuse to renew the
licence of a captive marine mammal facility, if the facility
is managed in a manner contrary to the Act or any
regulations or in such manner that the revocation of the
licence is required in the interest of the public or the well
being of the marine mammal.

(5) Every licensee shall adhere to any prescribed
standards and guidelines for the operation of a captive
marine mammal facility.

(6) Before the Minister refuses to grant or renew a
licence or revokes a licence under this section, the Minister
shall give notice to the applicant, of the grounds on which
he proposes to refuse to grant or renew the licence.

(7) The Minister shall afford the applicant an
opportunity of satisfying the Minister why the licence
should be granted or renewed, and may give to the
applicant an opportunity to remedy any default within such
period as may be specified by the Minister.

7. (1) The Minister in consultation with the Director
of Fisheries may, by instrument in writing appoint a person
including a “designated veterinarian” as defined in the
Marine Mammal (Captive Dolphins Facilities) Regulations
to be a marine mammal inspector for the purposes of this

Ch. 244A Sub.
Leg.

Marine mammal
inspectors.

CH.244A – 8] MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

Act and such person shall have and may exercise the
functions assigned to a marine mammal inspector by or
under this Act.

(2) A marine mammal inspector 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 a marine mammal inspector
for the purposes of this Act.

(3) A marine mammal inspector may at any time
stop, go on board and search any vehicle within the
exclusive economic zone, and if he has reason to suspect
that any person on board such vehicle 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 vehicle and detain it and any person
found on board.

(4) A marine mammal inspector may for the purposes
of ensuring that the provisions of this Act and any
regulations made thereunder are complied with at a
reasonable time enter any premises wherein any marine
mammal is or is suspected to be held captive and the
licensee or every person found on the premises shall afford
the inspector all reasonable assistance and furnish him with
such information as the inspector may reasonably require
for the purposes of ensuring that there is no breach of the
provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder.

(5) A marine mammal inspector may stop and search
any vehicle within The Bahamas where the inspector has
reasonable grounds to believe that a marine mammal is
being held or transported.

(6) A marine mammal inspector may seize any
marine mammal or product which he has reasonable
grounds to believe has been taken in contravention of this
Act and may either release as early as possible or place
such marine mammal or product in the care and custody of
a licensed captive marine mammal facility for
rehabilitation and at the expense of the offender if
convicted.

(7) A marine mammal inspector may arrest any
person whom he has reasonable grounds to believe, has
committed an offence under this Act.

(8) Where any vehicle or thing is seized or detained
or any person is detained under this section by a marine

MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION [CH.244A – 9





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

mammal inspector, the inspector shall take such vehicle,
thing or person as soon as may be to the nearest or most
convenient place in The Bahamas and there deliver it into
the custody of the most senior police officer.

(9) A marine mammal inspector may take or cause to
be taken any sample or specimen for the purpose of
ensuring that there is no breach of the provisions of this
Act or any regulations made thereunder.

(10) Any person who —
(a) fails to comply with any of the provisions of this

section;
(b) knowingly makes any false or misleading

statement either orally or in writing to a marine
mammal inspector engaged in carrying out his
duties under the Act,

commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to
a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to
both such fine and imprisonment.

8. No action shall be brought against any marine
mammal inspector in respect of anything done or omitted
to be done by the inspector in good faith in the execution
of his powers and duties under this Act or any regulations
made thereunder.

9. (1) No person shall resist, obstruct, assault,
threaten with violence, bribe or attempt to bribe or
otherwise interfere with a marine mammal inspector in the
exercise of any powers conferred on him under this Act.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1)
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to
a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to
both that fine and imprisonment.

10. Where an offence under this Act has been
committed by any person on board or employed on a
vehicle, the operator of that vehicle also commits the
offence.

11. Where on delivering a person into the custody of
a police officer in accordance with section 7, the marine
mammal inspector makes a complaint to that officer that
such person has committed an offence under this Act, the
police officer shall as soon as possible, cause such person

Immunity of
marine mammal
inspectors.

Interference of
marine mammal
inspectors.

Liability of
operator.

Persons in
custody to be
brought before
Magistrate’s
Court.

CH.244A – 10] MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

to be brought before a Magistrate’s Court to be dealt with
according to law.

12. Where a vehicle or thing is delivered into the
custody of a police officer at any place by a marine
mammal inspector in accordance with section 7, that
vehicle or thing shall be detained in the custody of the
Commissioner of Police at the order of the Minister or at
such place as the Minister may direct pending the outcome
of any legal proceedings under this Act or its release on
bond or other form of security in accordance with the
provisions of section 13.

13. (1) The Minister shall, on application therefor,
order the release of any vehicle, together with its gear,
stores, cargo, fishing net or other fishing appliance, or
thing seized under this Act on receipt of a satisfactory bond
or other form of security from the owner or other person
claiming such property.

(2) The Minister shall determine whether a bond or
other form of security is satisfactory within the meaning of
subsection (1).

14. (1) Where a person is convicted of an offence
under this Act, the court, in addition to any other penalty
imposed —

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

(b) shall order that any marine mammal caught in the
commission of an offence be forfeited and
disposed of in a manner determined by the
Director of Fisheries;

(c) may order that any licences or permits issued
under this Act be canceled or suspended and that
no new licences or permits be issued in respect of
the person or captive marine mammal facility
involved in the offence for such period of time as
the court may specify.

(2) The powers granted under subsection (1)(a) and
(b) may also be exercised by the court in civil proceedings
instituted by motion where —

(a) no person has been charged with an offence; or

Detention of
seized vehicles.

Release of
detained vehicles
on bond.

Powers of court.

MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION [CH.244A – 11





LRO 1/2008 STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS

(b) a person charged with an offence has been
acquitted.

(3) If forfeiture is not requested by order of the court,
an action for forfeiture may be brought in the Supreme
Court, in which case the proceedings shall be by motion.

15. Unless the contrary is otherwise proven —
(a) any marine mammal found on board a vehicle

which has been used in the commission of an
offence under this Act is presumed to have been
taken in the commission of that offence;

(b) any marine mammal found in the possession of a
person within the exclusive economic zone is
presumed to have been taken within that area; and

(c) in any proceedings under this Act following the
seizure of a vehicle by a marine mammal
inspector on board any Government or other
enforcement vehicle, where the place in which an
event is alleged to have occurred is in issue, the
place stated in a certified copy of the relevant
entry in the log book or other official record
maintained by the appropriate officer of the
Government as being that place in which the
event occurred is presumed to be the place in
which such event occurred.

16. Where a person is charged with having
committed an offence under this Act for which a licence,
permit, authority or the permission of any person is
required for the doing of any act, the onus shall be on that
person to prove that at the time of the offence the requisite
licence, permit, authority or permission was duly held.

17. Any vessel together with its gear, store and cargo
and any vehicle, fishing net, other fishing appliance or
thing ordered to be forfeited under section 14 shall be sold
or otherwise disposed of as the Minister of Finance may
direct.

18. (1) Unless specified otherwise, a person who
commits an offence under this Act shall be liable, on
summary conviction to a minimum fine of five thousand
dollars but not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or
to imprisonment not exceeding eighteen months or to both
such fine and imprisonment.

Presumptions.

Onus of proof.

Disposal of
vessels etc.
forfeited.

Penalties.

CH.244A – 12] MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION






STATUTE LAW OF THE BAHAMAS LRO 1/2008

(2) A person who commits an offence under section
6 shall be liable to a fine not exceeding fifty thousand
dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two
years or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), the court may,
in addition, order that any marine mammal to which the
offence has been committed shall be forfeited and disposed
of as directed by the Minister.

19. The Minister may make regulations generally for
giving effect to the provisions of this Act, and without
prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may, make
regulations to —

(a) prescribe the form of any applications referred to
in the Act;

(b) prescribe the form of licences or permits that may
be issued under the Act;

(c) provide for the charging of fees for permits or
licences issued under the Act;

(d) provide for the protection and care of different
species of marine mammals;

(e) provide for the manner in which a marine
mammal may be observed, interacted with, taken,
imported or exported;

(f) provide for the number, age, size or sex of any
marine mammal which may be taken, imported,
exported or sold;

(g) provide for the standards and guidelines of
different types of captive marine mammal
facilities.



Regulations.

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