AN ACT TO PROMOTE AND CONTROL AQUACULTURE
This Act may be cited as the Aquaculture Act, 1983.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, -
“aquaculture” means the cultivation of freshwater and marine organisms;
“Comptroller” means the Comptroller of Customs;
“Director” means the Director of Fisheries in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Government;
“dishonestly appropriate” means the same as those words, or similar words, are defined in the The Penal Code;
“firearm” means a firearm as defined by the Firearms Act;
“fisheries inspector” means a fisheries inspector within the meaning of the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act, 1977;
“location to location” includes from one body of water to another and from one marine site to another more than twenty nautical miles distant;
“Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Local Government;
“mischief” means intentionally and unlawfully causing material damage to property;
“non-indigenous” means not native to The Bahamas;
“organism” means a plant or animal at any stage of its development;
“special constable” means an employee of a licensed aquaculturist designated as such to protect his property in accordance with the provisions of this Act;
“subaquatic land” means the bed of the sea and other natural bodies of water, and includes the water column superjacent to the bed.
-- 1. the Minister shall be responsible for the administration of this Act.
Subject to the instructions of the Minister, the Director shall -
be responsible for the day-to-day administration of this Act;
prepare and keep on hand a list of all permits, permissions, licences and approvals that are, or may be, required of a prospective aquaculturist, including the activity for which such is required, the granting authority, and where application forms and further information can be obtained;
take all reasonable steps to expedite the process of securing for the applicant all permits, permissions, licences and approvals required by him;
prepare, to the extent he deems advisable, an inventory of suitable sites for the conduct of aquaculture;
disseminate information and take other reasonable steps to promote aquaculture;
take reasonable steps to protect existing aquaculturists from, inter alia, pollution and poaching, including facilitating action by and coordinating with other government ministries;
act in concert with existing aquaculturists in their dealings with other government ministries;
keep records, including copies of all licences, leases, permits, permissions and approvals for and reports filed by each aquaculture operation;
compile annually statistics describing the state of aquaculture in The Bahamas.
-- 1. No person shall engage in aquaculture unless he has first obtained for each site at which he desires to conduct aquaculture an aquaculture licence granted by the Minister.
Upon application the Minister may grant an aquaculture licence which shall be in such form as the Minister may by regulation prescribe and shall -
specify what species may be cultured;
specify where culturing may take place including metes and bounds or other detailed description where practical and desirable;
be granted for an initial period not to exceed ten years and contain not more than two rights of renewal of five years each, as the Minister deems advisable, and be subject to renegotiation thereafter; and
shall be subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister deems advisable and includes therein.
An application for an aquaculture licence shall contain such information, be in such form and require such fee as the Minister may by regulation prescribe.
An aquaculture licence may be revoked or cancelled by the Minister if the licensee is in breach of the provisions of this Act, any regulations passed thereunder, the aquaculture licence or an aquaculture lease.
-- 1. Upon application the Minister may lease land, both subaquatic and terrestrial, for the purpose of aquaculture.
An application for an aquaculture lease shall contain such information and be in such form as the Minister may by regulation prescribe.
An aquaculture lease may be granted for an initial period not to exceed ten years and contain not more than two rights of renewal of five years each, as the Minister deems advisable, and be subject to renegotiation thereafter.
Before granting an aquaculture lease the Minister shall consult with such other government ministries as he deems advisable.
The Minister may by regulations prescribe terms and conditions, including rents, which must apply to all aquaculture leases, and may impose in respect of each lease individually other terms and conditions as he deems advisable.
No person except the lessee and those with his consent shall fish in or on subaquatic lands leased for aquaculture purposes.
The Director shall record each aquaculture lease in the land registry office appropriate for the leased area, file one copy with the Department of Lands and Surveys and keep at his office as a public record copies of all such leases.
-- 1. No licence or lease shall be granted where -
the area applied for is not reasonably suited to aquaculture or the particular form of aquaculture proposed;
there is a reasonable likelihood that the area applied for will be adversely affected by pollution during the term of the licence or lease and any renewals;
the ecology of the area applied for or adjacent areas, including but not limited to mangroves and coral reefs, may be adversely affected and require protection;
the conduct of aquaculture will pose undue conflict with established patterns of commercial fishing, navigation or recreation;
it is not in the best interests of The Bahamas to lease, or allow the conduct of aquaculture, at the site in question.
Where two or more applications for licences or leases are received for all or part of the same area of Crown land, subaquatic or terrestrial, preference shall be given to citizens of The Bahamas, particularly those resident in the vicinity.
Every licensed aquaculturist shall report in writing to the Minister at such intervals, not less frequently than annually, such information about his operation and use of leased areas, if any, as the Minister may by regulations prescribe.
Unless otherwise specified in a licence or lease, every licence and lease is granted on the condition that aquaculture will be conducted on the area specified in the aquaculture licence or lease in a reasonable manner and with all due diligence.
-- 1. No person shall import into The Bahamas, or transfer from island to island or location to location within The Bahamas, any non-indigenous species of freshwater or marine organism without the written permission of the Minister.
Before permitting the importation of a non-indigenus species into The Bahamas, the Minister shall require the importer to provide to him at the expense of the importer an environmental impact statement prepared by a person approved by the Minister:
Provided that if the Minister has previously permitted the importation and introduction into The Bahamas of the species in question, he may accept the environmental impact statement previously provided as meeting the requirements of this subsection.
The environmental impact statement shall assess based on the best available scientific information the possible impact on native organisms and the environment generally of the introduction of the non-indigenous species in question, including an assessment of the possible introduction of diseases and parasites, upon the assumption that the organisms will escape.
The Minister may require supplementary information to be supplied or questions to be answered before accepting an environmental impact statement as meeting the requirement of subsection (2).
The Minister may require an environmental impact statement before he gives permission for a non-indigenous species to be transferred from island to island or location to location within The Bahamas.
The Minister shall, after reviewing the environmental impact statement and making such other enquiries as he deems appropriate, state reasons in writing for approving or denying the importation or transfer of the non-indigenous species.
Notwithstanding the permission of the Minister previously given to import the non-indigenous species, where in the opinion of the Minister the introduction of a non-indigenous species has proven or will likely prove detrimental he may quarantine, order removed, destroy or otherwise dispose of any organisms of that species remaining anywhere in The Bahamas.
-- 1. All live organisms from a source outside The Bahamas shall be certified at source free of harmful diseases and parasites by a person whose qualifications are acceptable to the Minister.
Live organism to be placed in the waters of The Bahamas may be required to be certified free of harmful disease and parasites by a fisheries inspector prior to being so placed.
-- 1. A fisheries inspector may at any reasonable time for the purpose of enforcing this Act and the regulations enter and search any place where aquaculture is being carried on.
The owner or person in charge of a place entered by a fisheries inspector pursuant to paragraph (1) and every person found therein shall give the fisheries inspector all reasonable assistance and furnish him with such information as he may reasonably require.
A fisheries inspector may examine for disease and parasites all organisms being cultured and may quarantine, destroy or otherwise dispose of organisms not free of harmful disease and parasites.
Every person conducting aquaculture shall report to the Director or a fisheries inspector immediately upon detection the presence of disease or parasites in any of his organisms.
-- 1. No person conducting aquaculture shall place any medicine, drug, fertilizer or other chemical into any water, or place such chemical in any water in excess of approved rates of application, unless the use of the chemical in aquaculture and its rate of application have been approved by the Minister.
The Minister may limit the intensity of culture of organisms in an aquaculture operation where, in his opinion, the intensity imposes or would impose a stress beyond the capacity of the surrounding environment to bear without degradation.
Otherwise than under the authority of and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted to that person for the purpose by the Minister, no person shall export any aquaculture produce from The Bahamas.
-- 1. All organisms of the species specified in an aquaculture licence in, on or over subaquatic or terresterial land specified in the aquaculture licence or lease are the exclusive property of the licensee or lessee.
Every person who dishonestly appropriates any of the organisms specified in subsection (1) is guilty of stealing.
-- 1. To protect his property a licensed aquaculturist may designate one or more persons in his employment, including himself, as special constables.
The names and addresses of all persons so employed as special constables shall be transmitted in writing to the Minister, who shall, if he approves of the persons, confirm the designation and issue under his signature an identification card.
A special constable and any person whom he may call to his assistance may arrest and detain without warrant any person whom he apprehends in the course of stealing or committing mischief, or attempting to steal or to commit mischief, or whom he has reason to suspect has freshly stolen, or committed mischief in relation to, the property of the aquaculturist employing him.
A special constable arresting and detaining any person in accordance with subsection (3) may without summons, warrant or other process seize and detain any vessel, boat, motor, motor vehicle, aircraft, firearm, equipment and other things used or to be used by the person arrested to transport himself or others to or from the aquaculture operation, to take or capture the organisms, or otherwise to assist him in his unlawful activities, and any such vessel, motor vehicle or thing shall be liable of forfeiture at the order of the court.
Where any person, vessel, motor vehicle or thing is arrested or seized and detained under this section by a special constable, the constable shall take the person, vessel, motor vehicle or thing as soon as practical to the nearest or most convenient place in The Bahamas and there deliver him or it into the custody of the most senior police officer.
Where on delivering any person into the custody of a police officer in accordance with the provisions of section 16, -
the special constable makes a complaint to such officer that such person has committed an offence in relation to an aquaculture operation, the police officer shall as soon as practical cause such person to be brought before a magistrate's court to be dealt with according to law; or
the special constable does not make any such complaint the police officer shall forthwith release such person.
Where any vessel, motor vehicle or thing is delivered into the custody of a police officer at any place by a special constable in accordance with the provisions of section 16, such vessel, motor vehicle 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 either in accordance with the final determination of the proceedings instituted against a person by the complaint of the special constable, or the Minister sooner directs the release, upon such terms as he deems fit, of such vessel, or motor vehicle or thing.
Any person who resists or obstructs a special constable in the exercise of his powers conferred by this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding nine months, or to both, and such person may be detained by the special constable.
-- 1. Any person stealing or committing mischief, or attempting to steal or to commit mischief, of or in relation to the property of an aquaculturist shall be guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine of not less than three hundred and not more than two thousand dollars, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding nine months, or to both, and to the forfeiture, at the order of the court, of anything seized and detained and used or to be used to assist in the commission of such offence.
Upon the conviction of any person on the complaint of a special constable or a licensed aquaculturist of an offence under subsection (1), the court shall order that one-half of any fine imposed and recovered be paid to the aquaculturist in relation to whose property the offence was committed.
Nothing in this Act shall be constructed so as to prevent or limit the right to proceed against any person in relation to an offence under The Penal Code or any other written law.
-- 1. Notwithstanding anything in the Tariff Act or any other written law, every person holding an aquaculture licence shall be entitled to import into The Bahamas without payment of customs duty for the purpose of conducting aquaculture by him in accordance with his licence, such goods as the Minister may designate.
Every licensed aquaculturist who imports into The Bahamas any items with the benefit of any exemption from customs duty under subsection (1) shall, upon being required so to do by the Comptroller, enter into a bond in such form as may be directed by the Comptroller with two sureties in double the amount of any customs duty which, but for the provision of this Act, would be payable on the importation of such items, to the effect that such items shall not be used or applied otherwise than for the purpose specified in such bond; and if any items are used or applied in breach of any such bond they shall be forfeited and may be seized and proceeded against in the same manner as goods liable to forfeiture under The Customs Regulations Act or any enactment passed in amendment or substitution therefor, without prejudice to the right of the Comptroller to recover as liquidated damages the penalty fixed by the bond or to take criminal proceedings:
Provided that where customs duty in whole or in part is paid to and accepted by the Comptroller in the case of a proposed sale, gift or other disposition of any item, the Comptroller shall by memorandum endorsed on the bond cancel the same in so far as the bond related to such item.
No items imported into The Bahamas with the benefit of any exemption from customs duties under subsection (1) shall be used for purposes other than the conduct of aquaculture and shall not be sold, given away or otherwise disposed of except -
in the case of a transfer or assignment of the aquaculture operation to another agriculturist, to the transferee or assignee; or
upon the importing aquaculturist paying, or giving security to the satisfaction of the Comptroller for the payment of, an amount equivalent to the amount of customs duty which, but for subsection (1), would have been payable upon the importation of such items; or
after the expiration of five years from the date of the importation into The Bahamas of such items.
Every person holding an aquaculture licence shall be entitled to the following relief from taxes for a period of eighteen years from the date of issuance of the licence, that is to say--
any export tax in respect of the processed and unprocessed produce of his aquaculture operation;
any income tax in respect of any profits or gains earned from the aquaculture operation;
any real property tax in respect of the lands and premises used for the aquaculture operation.
The Minister may make regulations for any or all of the following purposes--
for the proper development, promotion, management and control of aquaculture;
prescribing what information is required and what forms are to be used in applying for a licence and a lease;
prescribing the form for licences, including terms and conditions and providing for their suspension and cancellation;
providing for the terms and conditions for leases, including provisions for suspension and cancellation;
prescribing the fees or rentals to be charged in respect of the grant, transfer or amendment of a licence or lease;
providing for the surveying or marking of leased areas and provision of notice to mariners and others;
providing a preference to citizens and residents of The Bahamas in the conduct of aquaculture;
specifying performance standards to be met by a licensee or lessee;
limiting foreign ownership and concentration of ownership of the aquaculture industry;
providing for the regulation of the sale of any aquaculture produce to the public and for the inspection, grading, packing, processing, preserving and storage of any aquaculture produce intended for human consumption whether within or outside The Bahamas and for the charging of fees for the inspection of any such aquaculture produce;
providing for the exemption of any type of cultivation or culturing activity from the provisions of this Act and the regulations;
prescribing anything to be prescribed under the provisions of this Act.
A person who contravenes any provision of this Act or the regulations not otherwise provided for is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars.
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, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, he shall be liable upon conviction of such further offence--
to a fine not exceeding double the amount or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding double the term (hereafter respectively referred to as a “double fine” and a “double imprisonment”) which might otherwise have been imposed in respect of that offence; or
in a case where both a fine and a term of imprisonment may be imposed in respect of a first offence, or to both such double fine and double imprisonment.
The prohibitions pertaining to the possession or taking by a person of any fishery resource imposed by the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction and Conservation) Act, 1977 and regulation thereunder by reference to a closed season, a minimum size or possession limit, sex or egg-bearing characteristics, the method of capture, or the use of prohibited equipment shall not apply in so far as the possession or taking by that person is in connection with the conduct of aquaculture in accordance with the Act, these regulations, the aquaculture licence and any lease.
AQUACULTURE ACT, 1983
(No of 1983)
AQUACULTURE REGULATIONS, 1983
In exercise of the powers conferred upon the Minister by section 23 of the Aquaculture Act, 1983, the following Regulations are made.
These Regulations may be cited as the Aquaculture Regulations, 1983 and shall come into force on such date as the Minister may appoint by notice published in the Gazette,
In these Regulations “Act” means the Aquaculture Act, 1983.
(1) Every application for an aquaculture license or lease shall be in Form I in the First Schedule and shall include -
in the case of an application by an individual, the name, address, citizenship, jurisdiction of permanent residence and principal business or occupation of the applicant;
in the case of an application by a company, the name, the nature of the business and the principal place and address of business of the company, (and if the principal place of business is outside The Bahamas, the name and address of a duly authorized agent in The Bahamas), the name, address, citizenship, jurisdiction of permanent residence and principal business or occupation and shareholdings of the directors and of each shareholder holding at least ten per centum of the voting shares in the company;
the species of organism the applicant proposes to culture and whether it is indigenous to The Bahamas or the island at or on which it is proposed to be cultured;
the proposed source of broodstock, postlarvae, juveniles or other form of seed;
the nature and methodology of the aquacultural activity proposed to be conducted and the experience or qualifications of the applicant in relation to aquaculture in general and the proposed aquacultural activity in particular;
the proposed intensity at which organisms will be cultured;
the specific site at which aquaculture is proposed to be conducted;
the subaquatic and terrestrial land required by the applicant for the proposed operation, whether the applicant is requesting the Minister to lease any of this land to him, and on what other basis the applicant has or will acquire the right to use it;
such other information as the Minister may request.
(2) An aquaculture licence shall be in Form 2 in the First Schedule.
An aquaculture licence or lease may specify standards of performance to be met by the licensee or lessee, including at appropriate intervals of time -
the amount of money to be invested;
the quantity of organisms to be introduced for culturing;
the quantity of aquaculture produce to be produced;
the percentage of licensed or leased area to be utilized.
The fee for a licence shall be as specified in the Second Schedule to these Regulations, as it may be amended from time to time, unless waived by the Minister, and shall be paid within two months of the issuance of the licence and each anniversary date thereof.
An aquaculture lease shall be subject to the following terms and conditions, unless waived by the Minister, namely -
the corners of the area leased shall be marked at the expense of the lessee by a land surveyor registered and licensed under the Land Surveyor's Act, 1975 or by a person authorized and approved in accordance with section 14 of The Land Surveyor's Act, 1975;
the lease shall be subject to revocation or cancellation by the Minister if the lessee is in breach of the provisions, terms or conditions of the Act, the regulations, the lease or an aquaculture licence;
the lease shall not be transferable except to spouses or children during the first two years of its term, and thereafter only with the consent of the Minister, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld;
the lease rent shall be the greater of that specified in the lease or in the Second Schedule to these Regulations, and shall be subject to adjustment from time to time as these Regulations are amended.
Every aquaculture licensee shall file with the Minister a written report semi-annually covering the previous six month period, specifying to the extent practical -
the quantity of organisms at each stage of development on hand in the aquaculture facility as of the filing date;
the quantity, stage of development and source of all organisms introduced into his culture system;
the quantity, size of organisms, purchase price, and (except for retail sales to consumers) the purchaser and purchaser's address in respect of each sale of aquaculture produce;
details of any disease or parasites detected and any steps taken to control or eliminate such disease or parasites;
the quantity of organisms escaping into the wild;
details of any incidents of poaching or mischief;
a statement of revenue and expenses, which may be the most recent annual financial statement based on the fiscal year of the licensee.
The items contained in the Third Schedule are hereby designated as being entitled to be imported by a licensed aquaculturist free of customs duty, provided that they are used by him in the conduct of aquaculture.
The provisions of other written laws dealing with the inspection, grading, packing, processing, preserving and storage of wild fish, shellfish and other fishery resources intended for human consumption shall apply, with any necessary modifications, to aquaculture produce.
The activities listed in the Fourth Schedule are hereby exempt from the provisions of the Act and these regulations dealing with aquaculture licences.
|FORM 1||(Regulations 3(1))|
AQUACULTURE ACT, 1983
(No of 1983)
AQUACULTURE REGULATIONS, 1983
APPLICATION FOR AQUACULTURE LICENCE (AND LEASE)
Name of Applicant
Jurisdiction (Country/State) of Permanent Residence
Principal business or occupation
If the applicant is a company, (a) name (b) address (c) jurisdiction of permanent residence, and (d) principal business or occupation and (e) shareholdings of the directors and of each shareholder holding at least ten per centum of the voting shares in the company (attach separate sheet if necessary)
The species of organism(s) proposed to be cultured
Is the species indigenous (native or naturally occurring) to the Bahamas? Yes No
Is the species indigenous (native or naturally occurring) to the island on which you propose to culture it? Yes No
If the answer to Question 7 is no, name and address of the person whom you propose to prepare an environmental impact statement.
The proposed source of broodstock, postlarvae, juveniles or other form of seed (include name and address of each proposed supplier and the stage of development of the organisms to be procured).
Describe the nature and methodology of the aquaculture activity
State your experience and qualifications in relation to aquaculture in
general and the proposed aquaculture activity in particular.
Describe how intensely you propose to culture the organisms at each
stage of their development (e.g., number or weight of adults per cubic
metre of water).
Specific site at which aquaculture is proposed to be conducted
(provide as much detail as possible describing the location, including
if available metes and bounds or legal description, map, dimensions,
Are you requesting the Minister to lease any of this land to you? Yes No
If yes, specify which land (attach maps and other material if
Specify the basis (e.g., freehold ownership, lease) on which you have
or will acquire the right to use any private land specified in
(Attach any separate sheets required to make the application complete) I hereby certify that the information included herein is true and complete to the best of my knowledge.
Signature of Applicant Date
|FORM 2||(Regulations 3(2))|
AQUACULTURE ACT, 1983
(No of 1983)
AQUACULTURE REGULATIONS, 1983
This licence is granted to to conduct aquaculture, specifically the cultivating of at , more specifically described in Appendix “A” attached hereto, from to and may be renewed at the option of the licensee, provided he or it is not in default, for further terms of years each. (This combination of the initial term and any renewals is not to exceed twenty years. The licence may be renewed after expiry upon further negotiation).
shall not be transferred or assigned;
does not authorize the culturing of any species at any place other than that specified;
does not authorize the conduct of aquaculture at any place other than that specified.
Unless waived by the Minister, the fee for this licence is as set by regulation, presently $300.00, to be paid annually within two months of its grant and of the anniversary date thereof, and is subject to being changed from time to time as the regulations are changed.
(Insert any other conditions that may be imposed)
This permit expires on , unless sooner renewed by the licensee in accordance with any rights of renewal above conferred.
Dated this day of , 198 .
MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Licence Fee and Lease Rent
|Aquaculture licence fee||$300.00 annually|
|Aquaculture lease rent||2% of the gross revenue, annually|
Aquaculture Items Free of Customs Duty
Building materials and equipment to be used in the construction of ponds, tanks or cages.
Prefabricated tanks or cages.
Electrical, plumbing and mechanical equipment to provide the necessary support systems to ponds, tanks or cages.
Broodstock (adult specimens which will be induced to spawn in the aquacultural system).
Postlarvae and juvenile stock (which will be imported for the purposes of growing them to a harvestable stage).
Laboratory equipment and supplies.
Refrigeration and processing equipment and packaging materials necessary for the processing of the farmed species.
Fuel exclusively for the water pumping system.
Electrical generators for use as the main source of electrical power or as a source of stand-by power.
Activities Exempt from Licensing Requirement
Maintaining organisms for pleasure in a home aquarium.
Maintaining organisms for research or educational purposes in a research or educational laboratory.