SWIOP/WP/26 - Fisheries Legislation in Mauritius













Table of Contents


FEBRUARY 1986
RAF/79/065/WP/26/86

BY

L. CHRISTY
LEGAL OFFICER

REGIONAL PROJECT FOR THE DEVELOPMENT & MANAGEMENT OF FISHERIES IN THE SOUTHWEST INDIAN OCEAN

PROJET REGIONAL POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT ET L'AMENAGEMENT DES PECHES DANS L'OCEAN INDIEN SUD-OCCIDENTAL

c/o UNITY HOUSE, P.O. BOX 487, VICTORIA, MAHE, SEYCHELLES

TELEPHONE: 23773
TELEX: 2254 SWIOP SZ

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The views expressed are those of the authors.

This electronic document has been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software and careful manual recorrection. Even if the quality of digitalisation is high, the FAO declines all responsibility for any discrepancies that may exist between the present document and its original printed version.


Table of Contents


I. Introduction

II. Existing Legislation

A. Constitution
B. Fisheries Jurisdiction
C. Fisheries
D. Foreign Fishing
E. Freshwater Fisheries
F. Other legislation affecting offshore fisheries

III. Recommendations

A. The Fisheries Act
B. Main Provisions of an Offshore Fisheries Act

IV. Conclusion

Annexe A - The Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Bill

Annexe B - Draft Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations

Annexe C - The Fisheries (Amendment) Bill

Annexe D - Draft Fisheries (Implements) Regulations


I. Introduction

Mauritius comprises the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues and several smaller islands in the Southwest Indian Ocean. It has a substantial EEZ which so far has not yielded much in the way of fisheries. Artisanal fishing in the lagoons and inshore areas of Mauritius and Rodrigues produces between one and two thousand tons of fresh fish a year. A further three to four thousand Cons of frozen fish is landed from the banks within and beyond Mauritian waters. A single purse-seiner fishes mainly beyond Mauritian waters and lands about 3,000 tons of tuna annually in Port Louis. Foreign long-liners trans-ship another six or seven thousand tons a year, most of it caught outside Mauritian waters.

Previous FAO missions to Mauritius have advised on licensing and control of foreign fishing and on fisheries institutions. Amongst other findings, they have revealed the lack of a fisheries law designed for the offshore fisheries, in particular the banks fishery. The Government has therefore asked for further assistance in order to prepare appropriate legislation to regulate the offshore fisheries. An FAO legal officer visited Mauritius for this purpose from 30 March to 24 April and again from 9 to 30 October 1985 and prepared the present report.

This report is limited to a consideration of fisheries legislation. For an analysis of institutions involved in fisheries, the reader is referred to the report by Christy and Gréboval entitled Fisheries Institutions in Mauritius (Report RAF/79/065/WP/19/84).

II. Existing Legislation


A. Constitution
B. Fisheries Jurisdiction
C. Fisheries
D. Foreign Fishing
E. Freshwater Fisheries
F. Other legislation affecting offshore fisheries


A. Constitution

The constitution is the supreme law of Mauritius. It provides for the principal organs of Mauritian Government (the Governor-General, Parliament, Executive, Judicature, Service Commissions and Ombudsman), the fundamental rights of citizens, public finance and some miscellaneous matters. There is no provision directly relevant to fisheries.

An issue that could become important is the definition of Mauritius. Under section III it is "the territories which immediately before 12 March 1968 constituted the Colony of Mauritius". These territories did not include Tromelin or the Chagos Archipelago. The Interpretation and General Clauses Act (as amended by Act No. 4 of 1982) defines Mauritius to include both of these as well as the territorial sea, the airspace above it and the continental shelf. Section III (2) of the Constitution states that the constitution is to be interpretated according to the Interpretation Act (of UK, since replaced by the Mauritian Act), but only where the Constitution does not provide otherwise.

B. Fisheries Jurisdiction

The Maritime Zones Act of 1977 defines the baseline, territorial waters, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone and historic waters of Mauritius. The baseline is to be determined in accordance with the straight baseline system. The territorial waters extend 12 nautical miles from the baseline and they, the seabed and subsoil under them and the airspace over them are subject to the sovereignty of Mauritius. Provision is made for the exercise of innocent passage by foreign ships, subject to prior notice in the case of warships.

The continental shelf is the seabed and subsoil to the "outer edge of the continental margin" and in any case to a distance of 200 miles. Mauritian maps of the continental shelf include the Saya de Malha Bank which is also claimed by Seychelles and most of which lies beyond 200 miles from the nearest baseline of either country. Full sovereignty is claimed over the continental shelf, but the right of foreign states to lay cables and pipelines is recognized. There is no provision such as exists for other areas defined by the Act to modify the limits of the continental shelf in accordance with international law and state practice (e.g., in the case of adjacent or opposite states).

The exclusive economic zone extends 200 miles (except as modified by regulations approved by the Legislative Assembly). In the EEZ Mauritius has, amongst others, "sovereign rights for the purpose of exploration, exploitation, conservation and management of all resources", including fisheries. The freedoms of navigation and overflight are recognized, as are rights concerning cables and pipelines. Except for Mauritian citizens and Mauritian companies approved by the Minister of Fisheries, fishing is only permitted "in accordance with the terms of any agreement entered into with Mauritius or of a licence granted by or under the authority of the Prime Minister".

Recent regulations have established co-ordinates for the outer limits of the EEZ (Maritime Zones (Exclusive Economic Zones) Regulations 1984, G.N. 199). They include the area around Tromelin, claimed by both Mauritius and France and occupied by the latter, and the area around the Chagos Archipelago, claimed by both Mauritius and the United Kingdom, and occupied by the latter and, in large part, by the united States under lease from the U.K. A curiosity of the co-ordinates to the north of the Chagos Archipelago is that they appear to come much closer to Gan Island (Maldives) than to any land area of the Chagos Archipelago. Also it does not appear that the regulations have been approved by the Legislative Assembly as required by the Maritime Zones Act, even though they establish EEZ limits of far less than 200 miles opposite Reunion and Seychelles.

The Maritime Zones Act empowers the Prime Minister to make regulations extending any enactment to the EEZ and continental shelf but it does not appear that any such regulations have as yet been issued.

The Maritime Zones Act also provides for "historic waters" which are subject to unspecified sovereign rights. No historic waters have been claimed. A final category of area is the "designated" area of the continental shelf or EEZ. The Prime Minister may Cake various measures in a designated area, including to regulate the passage of ships, but no designated area has been declared.

Two earlier enactments which have not been repealed are the Continental Shelf and the Territorial Sea Acts, both of 1970. Since their provisions appear to have been superseded by the more comprehensive Maritime Zones Act, it would avoid confusion to repeal them. Similarly, the interpretation and General Clauses Act defines "continental shelf" in terms that are now inconsistent with the Maritime Zones Act. The former should be brought into conformity with the latter, either by altering the definition or by using a cross-reference.

If the Convention on the Law of the Sea comes into force with respect to Mauritius, some modifications of the Maritime Zones Act will become appropriate. The definition of baselines should be expanded to provide for other methods besides straight baselines. The Convention only provides for straight baselines in certain conditions (deeply indented or unstable coastline, a fringe of islands) which do not appear to exist at every point on the Mauritian coast. Some provision should be made for delimiting the continental shelf in cases (such as between Mauritius and Reunion) where Mauritius has already agreed to a distance less than 200 miles. Both historic waters and designated areas are unknown to the Convention and, as far as appears, unnecessary to Mauritius' jurisdictional claims. The designated area may be intended to provide a safety zone around ocean installations or a contiguous zone for the enforcement of laws relating to the territorial sea. In either case it would be appropriate to adopt the terminology of the Convention.

C. Fisheries

The Fisheries Act provides in considerable detail for the regulation of fisheries. The central provisions of the Act concern the licensing, specifications and conditions of use of nets. A licence is required even to possess most nets (section 12), as well as to "import or deal in any net" (section 15). Licensed nets must be stored in specified places and licensed dealers must record all purchases and sales (sections 13, 15). Licenses are not transferable (section 3). Aside from the matter of licensing, it is illegal to fish with any gear not listed in the Act (section 11; the Minister may authorize exceptions only on the advice of an advisory board). Most of the items on the list are defined not only by type, but by dimensions and mesh size (see section 2).

A fishing boat is defined as any craft capable of being used for fishing. "Any person who owns a fishing boat" is required to register it (section 23) and mount the identification badge and marks assigned to the boat (section 24). Professional fishermen as well as owners of any "fishing boat" (section 2) are required to land all their catch at designated landing stations (section 7). In practice, however, registration and landing requirements are not applied to pleasure craft.

The Act contains a number of specific prohibitions against using certain nets at night (sections 16(1), 17), or between October and February (section 16(2); cf. section 16(2) (b) (i) prohibiting use of a canard net from 1 May to 31 July), or in a reserve (section 19) or pass (section 20). It also prohibits "underwater fishing" (section 22), which is not further defined, fishing with explosives (section 21), and most fishing with lights (section 18).

The Act establishes a Fishery Advisory Board (section 35) with quite broad membership, but the Board seems to have been displaced by the National Committee on Fisheries Development appointed in 1984.

A puzzling question concerning the Fisheries Act is the area to which different provisions apply. Some provisions expressly refer to all waters under Mauritian jurisdiction ("the fishing limits"), while others contain no geographic expression or use phrases such as "at sea". Section 6(1) provides that "no person shall fish within the fishing limits of Mauritius, other than the territorial waters, except under a licence granted by the Prime Minister". This suggests that two distinct regimes are contemplated: one, the system of licensing and regulation described above for the territorial sea; the other, fishing in the EEZ on terms permitted by the Prime Minister, subject only to those provisions of the Fisheries Act that clearly apply to the EEZ (e.g. section 9(3): "No person shall put.... into the waters within the fishing limits of Mauritius.... any substance likely to injure any fish").

Regulations have been made under the Fisheries Act to establish licence fees, landing stations, minimum sizes, reserved areas and the list of toxic species (Fisheries Regulations 1983, G.N. 18; amended by G.N. 115 of 1984 and G.N. 169 of 1984). While these regulations apply to Rodrigues as well, there are also separate regulations banning the use of gill nets and establishing reserved areas on Rodrigues (Fisheries (Gill Net Prohibition) (Rodrigues) Regulations 1983, G.N. 84; Fisheries (Reserved Areas) (Rodrigues) Regulations 1984, G.N. 128). At the same time, fisheries regulations made in 1939 under the Courts Act still appear to be in force (Rodrigues Fisheries Regulations 1939, G.N. 35; cf. Rodrigues Salt Fish Regulations 1942, G.N. 250).

Regulations under the former Fisheries Ordinance and not revoked remain in force by virtue of the Interpretation and General Clauses Act section 17. The only one located prohibits bringing female sea turtles to the island of Mauritius from any other island under the jurisdiction of Mauritius (Female Sea Turtles (Prohibitions of Import) Regulations 1950, G.N. 176).

D. Foreign Fishing

Regulations under the Maritime Zones Act provide both for "approval" of Mauritian companies and for licensing of foreigners for the purpose of exploiting the EEZ [Maritime Zones (Fishing Licences) Regulations 1978 (G.N. 23, amended by G.N. 221 of 1978, G.N. 344 of 1981)]. The licence may be granted on such conditions as the Prime Minister determines, including the kind and quantity of fish and fishing vessels, kinds of fishing and gear, permitted areas and seasons, surveillance and enforcement measures and landing, training and employment requirements. The regulations specify an annual fee for vessels of Rs 200 per gross registered ton and, apparently in addition to fees, the permissible conditions include "the charges to be paid". The regulations also allow forfeiture "and other penalties" for non-compliance to be made terms of the licence. Penalties under the Act itself are a fine of Rs 200 000 and five years emprisonment.

The regulations are not designed either for management of the EEZ fisheries (except for the matter of approval of Mauritian companies, they do not apply to fishing by nationals) nor for implementation of the prohibition against unlicensed foreign fishing. They are more in the nature of a stop-gap licensing measure such as many countries have adopted pending the enactment of more complete fisheries legislation for the EEZ.

E. Freshwater Fisheries

The principal legislation regulating freshwater fisheries is the Wildlife Act 1983, section 8 of which governs fishing for camarons and shrimps; (Act No. 33 of 1983). The Shooting and Fishing Lease Act provides for hunting and fishing leases, but seems designed more for the former than the latter (see also Shooting and Fishing Lease Tax Act 1983, Act No. 36). The Rivers and Canals Act provides expressly that nothing in it shall affect fishing rights (section 31).

F. Other legislation affecting offshore fisheries

Operation of vessels

The merchant shipping legislation of Mauritius is currently under revision and has not been included in the Revised Laws. The acts in force but not published include the Inquiries into Wrecks and Marine Court Act, Merchant Shipping Act, Merchant Shipping (Employment of Seamen) Act 1972, Prize Court Fees Act and Registration of Vessels (Temporary Provisions) Act 1970. The Registration of Ships Act 1983 (No. 50) is a rather open-ended grant of authority to the responsible Minister to issue certificates of registration "on such terms and conditions as he thinks fit" (section 3).

Under the proposed revised legislation, registration will be open to vessels owned by Mauritian citizens or companies as well as to foreign companies having a place of business in Mauritius or approved by the Minister. Most of the provisions in the act will not apply to fishing vessels. "Deep-sea fishing vessels" will, however, be required to have certificated commanders and first mates.

Ports and Harbours

The Ports Act creates the Mauritius Maritime Authority to administer the ports of Port Louis and Port Mathurin (Rodrigues), including the new fishing port at Trou Fanfaron, Port Louis. The Authority requires fishing companies to use the stevedoring services of the Cargo Handling Corporation, which are not well adapted to the quick handling required for frozen fish. The Authority also sets port fees, and it has recently used this power to reduce them to half the usual rate for foreign fishing vessels and one fourth for Local fishing vessels (Port (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 1985 (G.N. No. 23)). The Authority is responsible for regulating fishing in and around ports (Ports Act section 4(e)).

Finance

A number of revenue acts affect fisheries along with other commercial activities. The Customs Tariff Act provides in its Schedules for import and export duties. There is no import duty on goods in chapter 3 (fish, crustaceans and molluscs), but canned mackerel and pilchards are subject to a 20% preferential duty (Tariff No. 16.04.20, G.N. 180 of 1984). On nets and netting (Tariff No. 59.05) the preferential duty is 20%. On fishing vessels to be used "in foreign trade or in trade with the dependencies of Mauritius" (Tariff No. 89.01.50.10) there is no duty; for other fishing vessels the preferential duty is 50% (Tariff No. 89.01.50.90). The duty on "motor spirit" is 150% (Tariff No. 27.10.10), on fuel oil 20% (Tariff No. 27.10.70). A special preferential duty rate of 10% is provided for equipment imported for an "industrial or agricultural organization" (Schedule Part II, item A-10, G.N. 188 of 1984). Export duties are minimal. They include one rupee per ton on tuna trans-shipments by companies not incorporated in Mauritius, and 9 rupees a ton on tuna exports by such companies.

The Income Tax Act as amended by annual Finance Acts imposes a tax of 35% on the chargeable income of companies (Finance Act 1984, No. 44, section 2, First Schedule). Allowances are provided for development companies and export companies (Income Tax Act, sections 33, 34) and for annual increases in income from exports (section 34 B). As an alternative, companies that export may choose a reduced rate of taxation, ranging from 33% for those at least 10% of whose revenues are from exports to 25% for those with 50% of their revenue from exports (section 55A, added by Finance Act 1984, No. 44).

Investment Laws

A series of investment laws offers relief from taxes, amongst other incentives, to qualifying investments. The Development Incentives Act offers up to 5 years relief from income tax for approved development companies, including companies engaged in fishing (see section 2). The Export Processing Zones Act provides up to 20 years relief from income tax, complete relief from customs duty for equipment and materials used for the production of exports and exemption from parts of the Labour Act. The Export Service Zones Act is similar, but income tax relief is limited to a reduction of the rate to 10% of chargeable income (section 10) and there is no exemption from the Labour Act.

The Mauritius Export Development and Investment Authority Act 1983 (No. 23 amended by Act No. 20 of 1984) established an Authority to promote exports and investment.

Prices

The Supplies Control Act 1974 authorizes the responsible Minister to make regulations to control production and trade of "any article", specifically including "the fixing of prices" (section 5(1), 5(2) (a) (ii)). The law has been used to control the price of frozen fish. The Advisory Committee on Prices and Consumer Protection Act 1983 (No. 57) adds gentler persuasion to the instruments of price-control.

Product Standards

Several enactments contain standards applicable to fish. The Fisheries Act prohibits sale or possession of any fish that is unfit for human consumption (section 8(4)). The Fisheries Regulations 1983 (G.N. 18, amended by G.N. 115 of 1984) specify the meaning of unfit by listing 20 species of fish considered toxic in Mauritius (Fourth Schedule). The Food and Drugs Act empowers the Minister to regulate food quality, and regulations have been made concerning fish quality and labelling (Fish Control Regulations 1981, G.N. 116) and frozen food standards (Sale of Frozen Foods Regulations 1985, G.N. 113). A general prohibition on the sale of unwholesome food is found in the Public Health Act (section 151).

Co-operatives

The Co-operative Societies Act requires a minimum of 10 members to form a society (section 4). The maximum rate of dividend may not exceed 10 per cent (section 38), which could limit the attractiveness of co-operatives for the prosecution of advanced artisanal fishing. So far the co-operatives using larger boats have not been even self-supporting, but the aim is to make them so.

Statistics

The Statistics Act provides for the collection of statistics on matters including fisheries, but it does not exclude gathering them under other acts or powers. The Director of Statistics may appoint any person for purposes of the act, or delegate the power so to appoint to "any authority concerned".

III. Recommendations


A. The Fisheries Act
B. Main Provisions of an Offshore Fisheries Act


A. The Fisheries Act

The Fisheries Act was drafted with the domestic artisanal fishery in mind and thus, logically, contains a number of rather detailed provisions peculiar to that fishery while making no mention of industrial, semi-industrial or foreign fishing. Its basic approach, which is to prohibit all gear that is not on a list (which does not include purse seines or trawl nets), is inappropriate to non-traditional fisheries which by definition use new techniques and gear.

The licensing provisions are not very suitable for offshore fisheries, either. The provisions for licensing nets do not provide for some of the most important types of nets, they do not apply to the EEZ (a licence from the Prime Minister is required for fishing in the EEZ), and they do not distinguish between local and foreign fishing. Also, while the law prohibits possession of an unlicensed net, it does not explicitly prohibit fishing with one. While there may be reasons for treating fishing nets like dangerous drugs in the national context, this approach is too sweeping when applied to foreign vessels that may wish to call to trans-ship fish or use the drydock. The requirement that fishing boats be registered is only a partial substitute for licensing, since it apparently contains no powers to refuse or revoke registration or to subject it to conditions. (A licence, on the other hand, is subject to conditions by virtue of section 37A of the Interpretation and General Clauses Act, even if the licensing provision itself does not mention conditions.)

Although the powers to make exceptions to the provisions of the law and to make regulations could be used to piece together a regulation of larger-scale fisheries, substantial amendment would still be required to make the Act really suitable. The basic structure would have to change to that of a flexible framework for regulations. This would mean inserting management criteria for regulatory measures in the Act while shifting the actual content of such measures to subsidiary instruments (regulations and licences).

This could be a useful approach for regulation of traditional fisheries as well, but the Government prefers for a number of reasons not to change the existing system. It follows that two laws will be required, the existing Fisheries Act restricted to inshore and lagoon fisheries, and what could be called the Offshore Fisheries Act for offshore and foreign fishing.

It is not realistic to draw a rigid distinction between the areas covered by the two laws. Some fisheries, like that for coastal tuna, may be exploited by both artisanal and industrial means. Others, such as the banks around St. Brandon, are inshore in one sense yet operationally more akin to distant-water fisheries. The solution recommended is to limit the operation of the Fisheries Act to the territorial waters around the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues and, even in those areas, to provide exemptions for operations licensed under the Offshore Fisheries Act. It would have to be a condition of the licence that the vessel not fish in the lagoons or off-lagoon waters of the two islands. In addition, foreign vessels, the regulation of which is in many respects subject to international law, should be exclusively governed by the offshore act.

Even in the ambit of the existing Fisheries Act, a number of technical improvements would be desirable. These are embodied in a draft Fisheries (Amendment) Bill and Regulations contained in Annexes C and D. The draft Fisheries (Amendment) Bill also contains several provisions specifically requested by the Mauritian authorities. One is expressly to include vessels used for recreational fishing in the definition of "fishing boat" and to apply the requirement of registration under section 23 of the Fisheries Act to such vessels. An alternative definition is offered if it is decided not to register pleasure craft (the regulation of offshore sports-fishing would be dealt with under the offshore act). A new section 9A has been drafted to provide an immediate means of creating marine reserves. It is suggested, however, that more comprehensive legislation for protected areas and/or coastal zones would be appropriate in the long run. FAO would be able to assist the Government in drawing up such legislation if requested.

B. Main Provisions of an Offshore Fisheries Act

An offshore fisheries act along the lines discussed would contain a number of provisions that are rather different from the present Fisheries Act. The main one, implicit in the basic approach, is planning. Others would include licensing, control and administration. Of these provisions, only licensing is provided for by regulations under the Maritime Zones Act. Rather than enlarge the regulations on the doubtful authority of that act, it is recommended that they be replaced by the offshore fisheries act.

(i) Planning

If detailed management measures are embodied in regulations or licence conditions, the need for criteria for their imposition becomes apparent. To some extent criteria can be stated in the law, but these are apt to be too general for practical guidance. What is needed is a process of fisheries management planning, which relates the state of the resource and fishery to management goals and indicates the management and licensing measures necessary to achieve the goals. All the elements of the plan will change as knowledge of the fishery progresses and as circumstances in and out of the fishery change. Because of their constant evolution it is not practical to enact fisheries management plans into law.

(ii) Licensing

An appropriate licensing scheme can be a subtle and powerful instrument of fisheries management. It can be used to limit the amount and kind of fishing, to discipline the fishery through administrative sanctions of suspension and revocation of the licence, and to regulate fishing both generally and on a case-by-case basis through the imposition of general or specific licence conditions. The information in licence applications can be the basis of a management information system if organized and used properly.

Separate licences for foreign and local vessels allow different criteria to be used in granting them, different fees to be charged and different conditions to be imposed. If foreign vessels operate under an agreement between Mauritius and the flag state or an owners' association, the licence can incorporate the terms of the agreement and make them directly applicable to individual vessels. Those that are collective in nature (e.g., technical assistance by the foreign government, fleet support investments) can be conditions for the validity of single licences even if the single licensees are not directly responsible for fulfilling them.

Scientific research requires different treatment in several respects. The requirements for a licence, such as a fisheries access agreement, may not be appropriate; payment of fees is not usually required; general restrictions on gear and catches may have to be waived. On the other hand, a research plan and prompt communication of research results including data and reports would normally be required. It is recommended that a separate provision be made for authorizations to conduct scientific research, subject to such conditions and such exemptions from the act as may be specified in the authorization.

The Government has considered requiring pleasure vessels to be licensed. Those that are used in sports fishing businesses could indeed be licensed, and appropriate provisions are included in the draft offshore regulations. Fishing in offshore waters by amateur boat-owners, on the other hand, does not appear to be worth licensing. If it were licensed, the following regulations could be applied:

(1) Except as provided in sub-regulation (2), no vessel shall be used for fishing for any purpose in offshore waters except pursuant to a licence or authorisation under the Act or these regulations.

(2) A local vessel not exceeding 15 metres in overall length that is licensed under the Fisheries Act is exempted from the requirement of a licence under section 10 of the Act or under these regulations.

(3) A licence in respect of a foreign or local pleasure craft, not authorizing it to be chartered or carry paying passengers for recreational fishing purposes, shall be subject to the following conditions -

(a) all provisions of the Act shall be complied with;

(b) the master of the vessel shall, whenever requested by an authorized officer, permit boarding and inspection of the vessel, produce for examination licences and other documents required to be maintained, and all nets and other fishing gear and fish, and bring the vessel into port;

(c) the vessel shall display on both sides, so as to be clearly visible both from the sea and from the air, the licence number in white markings at least 45 centimetres in height on a black background;

(d) the vessel shall not be used for fishing in any lagoon.

(iii) Control

Monitoring

The most effective system for monitoring and thus controlling the activities of offshore vessels is based on self-reporting with occasional spot-checks of reliability. For such a system to work, the information required from fishermen has to be reduced to the essential (a parallel system may have to be used to obtain scientific data for stock assessment purposes) and non-reporting has to be treated very seriously. The most essential information is real-time reporting of the location of the vessel. In the case of the banks fishery, this is not a problem because the banks are known, the general intentions of the owners are known before each voyage, radio contact is maintained with Port Louis and the vessels give good reports of their activities on their return. The only thing lacking - and it would only be significant if surveillance were contemplated - is to mark the vessels so they can be identified from the air and sea. If there were surveillance and any unlicensed vessels were operating in the area, they could then be distinguished from the licensed vessels.

Reporting by foreign vessels poses more of a challenge because none of the vessels is now licensed. As long as they stay unlicensed, there is not much Mauritius can do to make them report - or take licences. But based on experience elsewhere, it seems likely that foreign vessels would take licences if the terms were fairly easy. In that case, they should be required to report their positions semi-weekly by radio and to be marked so that they can be identified from the air and sea.

The law cannot specify the details of reporting and marking requirements, since these will vary according to the type of fishery and the monitoring system. The reporting requirement should be broad enough to authorize officers to obtain all information reasonably related to fishing activities, thus providing the basis for both enforcement- and research-related reporting. It should not be limited to reports at landing stations, as in the Fisheries Act. The marking requirement should be in terms to be prescribed by the Minister, and the relevant regulations should prescribe the size and colour - not just the contents - of markings.

Enforcement

The enforcement provisions of the Fisheries Act would also require modification for application to offshore waters. The Act only authorizes vessels to be stopped and inspected where an offence is suspected. While boarding of offshore vessels is likely to be infrequent, when it is undertaken it is more likely to be on a routine basis than because an offence is suspected. In any case, it is frequently only after inspection that there is a reason to suspect any offence besides unauthorized fishing.

In the event that an offence is suspected and it is considered necessary to seize a vessel (except for unlicensed fishing, this should be rare, since licensed vessels and their owners can normally be found later if necessary), the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea would require provisions for prompt release of the vessel and crew. A bond or other security could be required, and the law should provide for this. Section 32 of the Fisheries Act, providing for forfeiture of a vessel if it is not claimed within 15 days is not strictly prohibited by the Convention, but it does appear rather extreme. In the case of a multi-million dollar vessel whose owner is thousands of miles away, implementation of this provision could give the appearance of considerable injustice.

Penalties

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea generally prohibits the imposition of prison sentences on foreigners for fishery offences in the EEZ. Since it would be rather unusual to treat nationals more harshly than foreigners, it is recommended that only fines be authorized for offences under the act, regardless of the nationality of the offender. At the same time, it is suggested that the penalties under the Fisheries Act be re-examined. Currently they are a combination of rather low fines and rather long prison sentences. Crimes such as assaulting an enforcement officer are not "fisheries offences" and could still be subject to traditional penalties under existing legislation, in particular the Public Officers' Protection Act.

A provision for compounding of offences could be useful in the cases where foreign vessels were seized. It would allow the vessel to be released and the case closed in one transaction, avoiding the need for either prolonged custody or posting of security.

(iv) Administration

National Institutions

If the Government goes ahead with plans to establish a fisheries development authority with power to manage fisheries in offshore waters, it will be natural for the authority to have responsibility for administration of the offshore fisheries act, including to issue licences for fishing in the EEZ. The only limitation is that the authority should not have enforcement powers as an authority. Instead the Minister should have the power to authorize persons to Cake enforcement actions, and he would probably find it convenient to authorize certain members of the authority's staff as well as the police. The Fisheries Protection Division, on the other hand, is not equipped or organized for enforcement in offshore fisheries. If instead a fisheries department is created, it would administer both offshore and inshore fisheries act, including enforcement aspects.

At the time of writing, neither a department nor an authority has been established, so the draft offshore act is written in terms that allow the Minister to appoint the responsible officials who could be employees of either an authority or a department.

Regional Co-operation

There are a number of areas in which co-operation with Mauritius' neighbours will facilitate management of offshore fisheries. The main ones would be exchanges of information on fishing activities, co-ordination of management plans, common approaches to foreign vessels operating in the region and co-operation in surveillance of their activities. The sections of the law regarding management planning and information should legitimate consultation and exchange of information with other fisheries administrations in the region. Information could of course include the results of surveillance and the reports on fishing agreements and negotiations. Explicit references in the law to joint surveillance, regional licensing and other forms of co-operation could eventually be required, but they would be premature at present.

IV. Conclusion

An act containing provisions along the lines described above is recommended for the proper management of Mauritius' offshore fisheries. A draft is attached to the present report as Annexe A, with regulations in Annexe B. Certain modifications to the existing Fisheries Act are also recommended and contained in Annexe C, with necessary regulations in Annexe D.

Annexe A - The Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Bill

BILL FOR AN

OFFSHORE AND FOREIGN FISHERIES ACT

AN ACT

To provide for the management of fisheries in offshore waters and for the control of foreign fishing

ENACTED by the Parliament of Mauritius, as follows -

PRELIMINARY

1. Short title

This Act may be cited as the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198-.

2. Interpretation

In this Act -

"authorized officer" means a fisheries officer, an officer or non-commissioned officer of police and any other person appointed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be an authorized officer for the purposes of this Act;

"commercial fishing" means fishing for any purpose other than sport or recreation and includes fishing for the purpose of scientific research;

"commercial fishing vessel" means any vessel used for commercial fishing;

"fish aggregating device" means any device placed in the water to aggregate fish and includes any natural floating object upon which a device has been placed to facilitate its location;

"fisheries plan" means the plan for the management and development of fisheries prepared under section 3;

"fishing" means fishing for, catching, taking or killing fish or other aquatic organisms by any method and includes searching for fish and placing, searching for or retrieving any fish aggregating device;

"fishing vessel" means any vessel used for fishing;

"foreign vessel" means a vessel which is not a local vessel;

"gear" means nets, lines, hooks, boats, helicopters and any other implement used to find or catch fish or other aquatic organisms;

"licensing officer" means, with respect to a licence under section 8, the Minister, and with respect to all other licences, the person appointed by the Minister by notice in the Gazette to be a licensing officer for the purposes of this Act;

"local vessel" means a vessel which is wholly owned by;

(a) the Crown or a statutory corporation;

(b) one or more persons who are citizens of Mauritius;

(c) a company, society or other association of persons incorporated or established under the laws of Mauritius and of which at least 51 percent of the voting shares are held by the Crown, statutory corporations or citizens or Mauritius.

"Mauritius waters" means the territorial waters, exclusive economic zone, internal waters and all other waters subject to the fisheries jurisdiction of Mauritius;

"offshore waters" means Mauritius waters beyond the territorial waters of the Islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues;

"related activity" in relation to fishing means the operation of mother ships and other vessels in conjunction with fishing operations in order to receive, handle, process or store catches, to refuel or to supply fishing vessels or otherwise to support fishing operations.

PART I - MANAGEMENT OF OFFSHORE FISHERIES

3. Fisheries planning.

(1) The Minister shall prepare and keep under review a plan for the management and development of fisheries in offshore waters.

(2) The fisheries plan shall -

(a) identify the principal fisheries and their characteristics including their present state of exploitation;

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

(c) specify the management and development measures to be applied to each fishery;

(d) specify the licensing programmes to be followed for each fishery, the limitations, if any, to be applied to local fishing and the resources or amount of fishing, if any, available to foreign vessels.

(3) The Minister shall ensure that, in the preparation and review of the plan, adequate consultations are held with local fishermen and other persons and bodies concerned.

[Other bodies would include any advisory committee established under the Fisheries Act.]

(4) The Minister shall when practical consult with the fisheries management authorities of other states in the Indian Ocean, and in particular with those sharing the same or related stocks, with a view to ensuring the harmonization of their respective fisheries plans.

4. Information.

(1) The Minister shall collect and analyse statistical and other information on fisheries.

(2) Every person engaged in fishing in offshore waters or in related activities and every licensee under this Act shall supply such information regarding his fishing and related activities in such form as an authorized officer may require.

(3) No person who receives information pursuant to this Act shall use or disclose it except for the purposes of this Act.

(4) The Minister may enter into arrangements or agreements with other states in the Indian Ocean, either directly or through an international organization, providing for the exchange of fisheries information and for the harmonization of systems for its collection.

5. Management measures.

(1) The Minister may make regulations prescribing measures for the proper management of fisheries in offshore waters, including closed seasons and areas, prohibited methods and gear, the species, size and other characteristics of fish and other aquatic organisms that may be caught and schemes for limiting entry into all or specified fisheries.

(2) A regulation prescribing management measures may also prohibit the possession, purchase or sale of any gear or fish or other aquatic organism.

6. Prohibited fishing methods.

(1) No person shall -

(a) use any poison or explosive in offshore waters to kill, stun or disable fish in order to render them more easily caught; or

(b) have in his possession or control any poison or explosive in circumstances indicating an intention of using such poison or explosive in offshore waters to kill, stun or disable fish in order to render them more easily caught.

(2) Any poison or explosive found on board a fishing vessel shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to be intended for the purpose referred to in paragraph (1) (a).

PART II - LICENSING

7. Fishing agreements.

(1) The Minister may enter into agreements with other states, with intergovernmental organizations and with associations representing foreign fishing vessel owners or charterers, providing for fishing by vessels of those states, organizations or associations.

(2) The total amount of fishing provided for by agreements made under this section shall not exceed the resources or amount of fishing available to foreign vessels under the fisheries plan.

(3) Any agreement made under this section shall include a provision establishing the responsibility of the foreign party to take all necessary measures to ensure compliance by its vessels with the agreement and with the laws relating to fishing in Mauritius waters.

8. Foreign commercial fishing vessel licence.

(1) No foreign vessel may be used for commercial fishing or related activities in Mauritius waters or for commercial fishing for sedentary species on the continental shelf except pursuant to a licence issued under this section or an authorization under section 17.

[This provision applies to inshore and lagoon waters as well as offshore waters.]

(2) An application for a licence under this section shall be made in the prescribed form and manner.

(3) Subject to this Act, the Minister may issue a licence in respect of a foreign vessel authorizing that vessel to be used in Mauritius waters and on the continental shelf for such fishing and related activities as may be specified in the licence.

(4) No licence shall be issued under this section unless -

(a) there is an agreement under section 7 in force with the flag state of the vessel, with an intergovernmental organization to which the flag state has delegated the power to negotiate fishing agreements, or with an association of which the owner or charterer is a member; or

(b) the Minister determines that an agreement under section 7 in respect of the vessel is not practical and the applicant provides sufficient financial or other guarantees for the fulfilment of all obligations under the licence.

9. Stowage.

Any foreign commercial fishing vessel that is not licensed under section 8 or authorized under section 17 shall, at all times that it is in Mauritius waters, keep its gear stowed in such manner as may be prescribed.

10. Local commercial fishing vessel licence.

(1) No local vessel may, unless it has been exempted under subsection (2), be used for commercial fishing or related activities in offshore waters except pursuant to a licence issued under this section or an authorization under section 17.

(2) The Minister may make regulations exempting any category of local vessel from the requirements of this section, subject to such conditions as he may prescribe.

(3) An application for a licence under this section shall be made in the prescribed form to a licensing officer.

(4) A licensing officer shall, upon application in accordance with the preceding subsection, issue a licence under this section where he is satisfied that -

(a) the vessel in respect of which the application is made is a local vessel;

(b) the applicant will comply with the conditions of the licence;

(c) the vessel is seaworthy for fishing in offshore waters; and

(d) the issue of the licence is consistent with any licensing programme specified in the fisheries plan.

11. Other licences.

(1) The Minister may make regulations requiring a licence for any kind or category of fishing in offshore waters, with or without the use of a vessel, for trans-shipping fish or other aquatic organisms, for transporting fish or other aquatic organisms taken from offshore waters and for operating a shore base for fishing in offshore waters.

(2) Regulations made under this section may provide for different categories of licences according to the nationality of the vessel, operator or licensee.

[A licence should be required for the use of large nets on St. Brandon and for the operation of the shore-based dinghy fishery there. A licence could be required for sports-charter vessels. A licence should not be required for the transport of fish by refrigerated vessels calling from Seychelles, even though much of the cargo might have been caught in the EEZ around the Chagos Archipelago. A licence would probably not be required of pleasure craft that are not hired out for sports fishing.]

12. Conditions of licences.

(1) No vessel that is licensed under this Act shall be used for fishing in the lagoon waters of the Islands of Mauritius or Rodrigues, or in any other area where it is not authorized by its licence to fish.

(2) Any licence issued under this Act shall be subject to such general conditions as may be prescribed, to the conditions made applicable to the licence by any agreement under section 7, and to any special conditions that may be specified in the licence by the licensing officer, including conditions relating to -

(a) the type and method of fishing or other activity authorized;

(b) the areas within which such fishing or other activity is authorized; and

(c) the target species and amount of fish and other aquatic organisms authorized to be taken, including any restriction on by-catch.

(3) A licensing officer may from time to time, where he is satisfied that it is expedient for the proper management of fisheries, vary the special conditions applicable to any licence. He shall notify the licensee of such action as soon as practicable.

13. Fees.

There shall be payable in respect of every licence under this Act such fees and other payments as may be prescribed by regulations and, in case of a foreign vessel, such other fees and payments as may be determined by the Minister or provided for by an agreement under section 7.

14. Validity.

(1) A licence issued under this Act shall, unless sooner suspended or cancelled under section 15, be valid for such period not exceeding five years as may be prescribed by regulations or specified in the licence, subject to subsection (2).

(2) A licensing officer may issue a licence in respect of a foreign vessel for a term which shall not exceed -

(a) in the case of a vessel with respect to which there is an agreement in force under section 7, the term of the agreement or five years, whichever is shorter;

(b) in all other cases, one year.

(3) Where a vessel licensed as a local vessel ceases to be a local vessel, the licence shall automatically terminate.

(4) No licence in respect of any vessel, gear, establishment or activity shall be transferable to any other vessel, gear, establishment or activity, or to any other person, except with the written permission of a licensing officer or as may be prescribed by regulations for the limitation of entry into any fishery.

15. Suspension and cancellation.

(1) A licensing officer may suspend or cancel any licence issued under this Act -

(a) where the vessel or any gear in respect of which the licence was issued has been used, or any activity has been conducted, in contravention of this Act or of any condition of the licence;

(b) where such action is necessary or expedient for the proper management of fisheries.

(2) In the event of suspension or cancellation of a licence for the reasons set out in paragraph (1) (b), the proportion of any fees paid with respect to the period of suspension, or with respect to the remaining period of validity of the licence at the time of cancellation, shall be refunded to the licensee.

16. Appeals.

Any person aggrieved by -

(a) the refusal of a licensing officer to issue or renew any licence except a licence under section 8;

(b) the suspension or cancellation of any licence;

(c) the application of any special condition to, or the variation of any special condition applied to, any licence except a licence under section 8 - may, within thirty days of notice of the decision, appeal against it to the Minister, whose decision shall be final.

17. Scientific research.

The Minister may in writing, on the submission of a research plan, authorize any person or vessel to fish in Mauritius waters or on the continental shelf for the purpose of scientific research, subject to such conditions as he may specify. An authorization under this section may exempt the person or vessel from any provision of this Act or of the Fisheries Act.

[This section applies to inshore as well as offshore waters.]

PART III - ENFORCEMENT

18. Powers of Authorized Officers.

(1) For the purpose of enforcing this Act, an authorized officer may, without a warrant -

(a) stop, board and search any fishing vessel in Mauritius waters, any local fishing vessel outside Mauritius waters, and any vessel found fishing for sedentary species on the continental shelf;

(b) stop and search any vehicle;

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

(d) require to be produced and examine any fishing net or other gear and any fish or other aquatic organism, whether at sea or on land.

(2) Where an authorized officer has reasonable grounds to believe that an offence against this Act has been committed, he may, without a warrant, seize any vessel (together with its gear, stores and cargo), vehicle, fish or other aquatic organism, gear or other article which he has reason to believe has been used in the commission of the offence or in respect of which the offence has been committed.

(3) Any vessel seized under subsection (2) and the crew thereof shall be taken to the nearest or most convenient port.

(4) Where, following the commission in Mauritius waters of an offence against this Act with the use of a vessel, the vessel is pursued beyond the limits of Mauritius waters, the powers conferred on authorized officers by this section shall be exercisable in respect of such vessel beyond the limits of Mauritius waters in the circumstances and to the extent recognized by international law.

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

(6) All seizures under this Act shall be reported as soon as is practicable to a magistrate and the seized articles shall be detained or disposed of as he, or any other court to which proceedings may be transferred, may direct, except as provided in section 19(1).

19. Custody and Disposal of Seized Articles.

(1) The court, or in urgent cases the [Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries], may direct any fish or other perishable articles seized under this Act to be sold or, if their sale is not practical, to be destroyed.

[The appropriate official to decide to sell or destroy perishable articles depends on the structure that is decided for fisheries administration.]

(2) The court may order the release of any vessel or other article seized under this Act on receipt of a satisfactory bond or other security for its value.

(3) The proceeds of any sale under subsection (1), and any bond or other security received under subsection (2), shall be held and dealt with in accordance with this Act in the manner provided for the article which has been sold or released.

(4) If no proceedings in respect of a seized article are instituted within 60 days of seizure, the article shall be released on demand to any person who appears entitled thereto.

20. Public Officers.

(1) The Public Officers Protection Act is extended to all Mauritius waters and to actions taken outside of Mauritius waters to enforce this Act in respect of local vessels, in respect of fishing for sedentary species on the continental shelf and in circumstances provided for by section 18(4).

(2) Any person in charge of a vessel, or in possession of a document or article, which an officer is authorized to stop, board, inspect or seize, shall take all necessary measures to facilitate the officer's task.

21. Jurisdiction.

Any offence under this Act shall be triable by the Intermediate Court.

22. Offences.

(1) Where any foreign vessel that is not licensed under section 8 or authorized under section 17 is used for commercial fishing or related activities in Mauritius waters or for commercial fishing for sedentary species on the continental shelf, the owner, charterer and master are each guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(2) Where any vessel that is licensed under section 8 or that is a foreign vessel authorized under section 17 is used in contravention of any condition of the licence or authorization, the owner, charterer and master are each guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(3) Where any local vessel that is not exempted or licensed under section 10 or authorized under section 17 is used for commercial fishing or related activities in offshore waters, the owner, charterer and master are each guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(4) Where any vessel that is licensed under section 10 or that is a local vessel authorized under section 17 is used in contravention of any condition of the licence or authorization, the owner, charterer and master are each guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(5) Where any foreign commercial fishing vessel that is not licensed under section 8 or authorized under section 17 is found in Mauritius waters without its gear stowed in the prescribed manner, the owner, charterer and master are each guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(6) Any person who fishes in offshore waters in contravention of any management measure prescribed under section 5 is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(7) Any person who -

(a) uses any poison or explosive in offshore waters to kill, stun or disable fish in order to render them more easily caught; or

(b) has in his possession or control any poison or explosive in circumstances indicating an intention of using such poison or explosive in offshore waters to kill, stun, or disable fish in order to render them more easily caught -

is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(8) Any person who lands, sells, receives or possesses any fish taken in contravention of paragraph (7), knowing or having reasonable cause to know that they have been so taken, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(9) Any person required to supply information under this Act who knowingly either fails to supply such information or furnishes false or misleading information is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(10) Any person in charge of a vessel, or in possession of a document or article, which an officer is authorized to stop, board, inspect or seize, who fails to take all necessary measures to facilitate the officer's task, is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

(11) Any public officer who uses or discloses information received pursuant to this Act for any purpose except the purposes of this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of _____.

23. Forfeiture.

(1) On convicting any person of an offence against this Act, the court, in addition to any other penalty imposed -

(a) may order that any gear used in the commission of the offence and, in the case of an offence under section 22(1), any vessel (together with its gear, stores and cargo) used in the commission of the offence, be forfeited;

(b) shall order that any fish and other aquatic organisms caught in the commission of the offence and any poison or explosive used in the commission of the offence be forfeited.

(2) All fish and other aquatic organisms found on board any vessel which has been used in the commission of an offence against this Act shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to have been caught in the commission of the offence.

(3) Where an article in the custody of the court is not ordered to be forfeited, it shall be held until all fines, imposed for any offence in the commission of which the article was used or obtained, have been paid. If within 30 days following a judgement of guilt, any part of such fines remains unpaid, such article may be sold and the proceeds applied Cowards the payment of the fines.

24. Compounding.

(1) The Minister may, if he is satisfied that any person has committed an offence against this Act, and if the person admits the commission of the offence and agrees in writing to its being dealt with under this section -

(a) compound the offence by accepting a sum of money not exceeding the maximum fine specified for the offence;

(b) order the release of any vessel or other article seized in connection with the offence on payment of a sum of money not exceeding the value of the vessel or other article.

(2) Any sum of money received under this section shall be dealt with as though it were a fine imposed by the court.

(3) In any proceedings brought against any person for an offence under this Act, it shall be a good defence if the person proves that the offence has been compounded under this section.

PART IV - MISCELLANEOUS

25. Regulations.

(1) The Minister may make regulations generally for the implementation of this Act, and in particular may make regulations -

(a) requiring the holder of a licence under section 8 to appoint a local agent in Mauritius with authority to represent the licensee in respect of the vessel;

(b) requiring the holder of a licence under section 8 to execute a bond or give other guarantee of his obligations under the licence;

(c) requiring any licensed vessel to be equipped with specified communications and position-fixing equipment;

(d) delimiting areas of Mauritius waters in which fishing shall be reserved to local vessels and local fishermen;

(e) prescribing the form, manner and content of applications for licences;

(f) prescribing the form and content of licences and the manner of their issue;

(g) prescribing the manner in which fishing gear is to be stowed and requiring any foreign fishing vessel and any local vessel licensed under section 10 to stow its gear in the prescribed manner during any time that it is in an area of Mauritius waters where it is not authorized to fish;

(h) regulating the use of fish aggregating devices and regulating fishing around fish aggregating devices;

(i) prescribing measures for the protection of marine turtles and marine mammals in offshore waters;

(j) providing that the contravention of any regulation made under this Act shall constitute an offence and providing for a penalty of a fine not exceeding for any such offence;

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

26. Consequential Provisions.

(1) The Fisheries Act shall extend only to the Islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues including their territorial and internal waters.

(2) The following provisions of the Fisheries Act shall not apply to any vessel licensed or authorized to fish under this Act, to any foreign vessel or to any person aboard such vessels, or in respect of any activity authorized by a licence or authorization issued under this Act -

(a) section 5;
(b) section 6;
(c) section 7;
(d) section 8;
(e) subsections (1) and (2) of section 9;
(f) section 11;
(g) section 12;
(h) section 13;
(i) section 14;
(j) section 16;
(k) section 17;
(l) section 18;
(m) subsections (1), (2), (4) and (6) of section 22;
(n) section 23;
(o) section 24;
(p) section 25.

(3) The application of the following provisions of the Fisheries Act is modified as set out below -

(a) section 15 shall not apply in respect of the importation of any net the use or possession of which is authorized by a licence or authorization issued under this Act;

(b) subsection (3) of section 22 shall not apply in respect of the importation or manufacture of any implement the use or possession of which is authorized by a licence or authorization issued under this Act;

(c) sections 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33 and 34 shall not apply in respect of any offence, prohibition or other provision of the Fisheries Act to the extent that such offence, prohibition or other provision is made inapplicable to any vessel, person or activity by this section; and

(d) section 38 shall not apply in respect of any purpose of the Fisheries Act to the extent that the provisions expressing such purpose are made inapplicable to any vessel, person or activity by this section.

(4) Section 3 of the Fisheries Act is amended in subsection (6) -

(a) by deleting the semicolon at the end of paragraph (b) and replacing it by a full stop;

(b) by deleting paragraph (c).

(5) Section 6 of the Fisheries Act is repealed and replaced by the following section -

6. Protection of turtles and mammals.

No person shall fish any turtle or any marine mammal or collect any turtle egg without the written approval of the Principal Assistant Secretary.

(6) Section 7 of the Maritime Zones Act is amended in subsection (2) by the insertion following the word "Mauritius" of the words ", of an enactment".

(7) The Maritime Zones (Fishing Licences) Regulations 1978 are repealed.

27. Commencement.

This act shall come into operation on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

Annexe B - Draft Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations

GOVERNMENT NOTICE NO _____ OF THE OFFSHORE AND FOREIGN FISHERIES ACT

Regulations made by the Minister under section of the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act

1. These regulations may be cited as the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations 198-.

2. In these regulations - "Act" means the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198-.

3. A local vessel not exceeding 15 metres in overall length is exempted from the requirement of a licence under section 10 of the Act.

4. (1) An application for a licence under the Act or these regulations shall be made in writing to a licensing officer.

(2) An applicant for a licence in respect of a fishing vessel shall furnish the following information:

(a) the name and description of the vessel, the equipment and crew complement;

(b) the flag state and home port of the vessel;

(c) the names, addresses and nationalities of the owner, charterer and master of the vessel;

(d) the side number of the vessel, its radio frequencies, call sign and signal letter;

(e) a description of the proposed operations;

(f) a description of any joint venture or other contractual arrangements between Mauritian and foreign business interests in connection with the fishing operations;

(g) if an application for a licence under section 8 of the Act, the name and address of the local agent authorized by the applicant to accept legal and financial responsibility, and service of any notice, summary or other document, on behalf of the applicant, together with proof of the agent's authority;

(h) such other information as may be requested by the licensing officer in clarification or amplification of the information furnished by the applicant.

(3) An application for any licence other than in respect of a fishing vessel shall describe proposed activities and contain such other information as may be required by the licensing officer.

5. (1) No vessel shall be chartered, or carry paying passengers, for the purpose of recreational fishing in offshore waters, except in accordance with a licence issued under this regulation.

(2) A licensing officer shall, upon application therefore in accordance with regulation 4, issue a licence under this regulation in respect of a local vessel where he is satisfied that:

(a) the vessel is a local vessel;

(b) the vessel is seaworthy for fishing in offshore waters;

(c) the applicant will comply with the conditions of the licence; and

(d) the issue of the licence is consistent with any licensing programme specified in the fisheries plan.

(3) A licensing officer may, upon application therefor in accordance with regulation 4, issue a licence under this regulation in respect of a foreign vessel if the conditions of paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of sub-regulation (2) are met.

6. (1) No person shall, on any island in offshore waters, operate a shore base for commercial fishing except pursuant to a licence issued by a licensing officer under this regulation.

(2) A licensing officer may issue a licence permitting the holder to operate a shore base in such a location, for such fishing, and there to conduct such activities, as are stated in the licence.

7. (1) No person shall fish in offshore waters with the use of a net or combination of nets exceeding 50 metres in length except pursuant to a licence issued by a licensing officer under this regulation or under sections 7 or 9 of the Act, or pursuant to an authorization under section 16 of the Act.

(2) A licensing officer may issue a licence permitting the holder to use a net of such description for fishing in such manner and location as are stated in the licence.

(3) A licence issued under this regulation shall be valid for one year unless sooner suspended or revoked.

8. Every licence shall be in the appropriate form set out in the First Schedule.

9. [The Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] shall maintain a register of all licences issued under the Act.

[While it is not strictly necessary to mention the register in the regulations, it is an important function that deserves formal recognition. Until it is known how offshore fisheries administration will be organized, the appropriate keeper of the register cannot be identified.]

10. (1) The fees payable in respect of a licence under section 8 of the Act shall be the fees established by the applicable agreement under section 7 of the Act and the fees specified in the licence or, if no such fees are established or specified, the fees set out in the Second Schedule.

(2) The fees payable in respect of a licence under section 10 of the Act or in respect of a licence under these regulations shall be the appropriate fees set out in the Third Schedule.

11. A licensing officer may, if he is satisfied that a licence has been lost or destroyed, issue a duplicate licence.

12. (1) Any substantial modification to, or change in ownership of, a licensed fishing vessel shall be reported within 30 days to a licensing officer.

(2) On receipt of a report under sub-regulation (1), a licensing officer may either amend the licence accordingly or cancel the licence and treat the report as an application for a new licence.

13. A licence issued under section 8 of the Act shall be subject to the following conditions -

(a) the vessel shall only be used for such fishing and related activities, during such times, and in such places, as are specified in the licence;

(b) all provisions of the Act shall be complied with;

(c) the licensee shall appoint an agent resident in Mauritius who shall be authorised to accept legal and financial responsibility, and service of any notice, summons or other document, on behalf of the licensee in relation to the activities of the vessel;

(d) the vessel shall maintain a logbook in which are recorded the nature, time and position of all fishing operations, and the quantity of catch by species, including fish caught but not landed or retained on board;

(e) reports of the information required to be recorded under paragraph (d) shall be transmitted by the master of the vessel to [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] -

(i) monthly and, on request of an authorized officer, at any other time during the term of the licence and

(ii) not later than 30 days after the expiry of the licence;

(f) the master of the vessel shall cause its position to be reported by radio or other means of communication approved by [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] -

(i) upon entering or leaving Mauritius waters;

(ii) every three days while in Mauritius waters;

(iii) at all other times when requested by an authorized officer to do so;

(g) the master of the vessel shall, whenever requested by an authorized officer, permit boarding and inspection of the vessel, produce for examination licences and other documents required to be maintained, and all fishing nets and other gear and fish, and bring the vessel into port;

(h) the vessel shall at all times while in Mauritius waters -

(i) fly the flag of its flag state and

(ii) display on both sides, so as to be clearly visible both from the sea and from the air, the licence number in white markings at least one metre in height on a black background;

(i) smaller boats carried aboard the licensed vessel shall be clearly marked with the licence number of the licensed vessel;

(j) the vessel shall not be used for fishing within one nautical mile of a fish aggregating device except with the permission of the owner of the device;

(k) the vessel shall not be used for fishing in any lagoon or, except as the licence may expressly provide, within the territorial waters of the Islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues;

(l) the master of the vessel shall permit observers designated by [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] to go and remain on board the vessel for any or all of the period of validity of the licence, and shall -

(i) provide the observers with suitable food and accommodation while on board;

(ii) cooperate fully with the observers in the performance of their duties;

(iii) arrange for the observers to send and receive messages by way of the communications facilities on board the vessel;

(m) any records, reports or notifications required to be maintained or made under this regulation shall be maintained or made in the English or French language.

[The possibility of requiring all fish caught to be landed in Mauritius has been discussed, but it is obviously unworkable for long-liners and other vessels that fish in waters under more than one jurisdiction during a single trip. Landing of catch could be a special condition applied in appropriate cases.]

14. (1) A licence issued under section 10 of the Act shall be subject to the following conditions -

(a) the conditions stated in paragraphs (a), (b), (g), (i), (l) and (m) of regulation 13;

(b) a record of fishing activities shall be maintained in the form specified by the licensing officer;

(c) the vessel shall display on both sides, so as to be clearly visible both from the sea and from the air, the licence number in white markings at least one metre in height on a black background;

(d) all fish caught shall be landed or transhipped in Mauritius at the place specified in the licence, unless otherwise provided by the licence or specifically approved by [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries];

(e) the vessel shall not be used for fishing in any lagoon.

(2) A licence issued under section 10 of the Act in respect of a vessel equipped with mechanical means of refrigeration shall be subject to the following additional conditions -

(a) the conditions stated in paragraphs (d), (e), and (j) of regulation 13;

(b) the master of the vessel shall cause its position to be reported by radio or other means of communication approved by [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] -

(i) every three days and

(ii) at all other times when requested by an authorized officer to do so;

(c) the vessel shall not be used for fishing, except as the licence may expressly provide, within the territorial waters of the Islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.

15. A licence issued under regulation 5 in respect of a foreign or local vessel shall be subject to the following conditions -

(a) the conditions stated in paragraphs (a), (b), (d), (e), (g) and (m) of regulation 13;

(b) the vessel shall display on both sides, so as to be clearly visible both from the sea and from the air, the licence number in white markings at least 45 centimetres in height on a black background;

(c) all fish caught shall be landed in Mauritius at the place specified in the licence, unless otherwise provided by the licence or specifically approved by [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries];

(d) the vessel shall not be used for fishing in any lagoon.

16. A licence issued under regulation 6 shall be subject to the following conditions:

(a) the base shall only be used for such activities, and as a base for such fishing, during such times, and in such places, as are specified in the licence;

(b) all provisions of the Act shall be complied with;

(c) the operator of the base shall maintain records of the nature of fishing operations, the effort employed, the quantity of catch by species, including fish caught but not landed or retained at the base;

(d) reports of the information required to be recorded under paragraph (c) shall be transmitted to [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] -

(i) monthly and, on request of an authorized officer, at any other time during the term of the licence and

(ii) not later than 30 days after expiry of the licence.

17. A licence issued under regulation 7 shall be subject to the following conditions:

(a) the net shall only be used for such fishing, during such times, and in such places, as are specified in the licence;

(b) all provisions of the Act shall be complied with;

(c) a record of fishing activities shall be maintained in the form specified by the licensing officer;

(d) the net shall not be used for fishing in any waters of the Islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues.

18. An authorization under section 17 of the Act shall be subject to the condition that copies of all data derived from the research and any analysis, report or other result of research shall be communicated in full to [the Principal Assistant Secretary for Fisheries] as soon as they are produced, whether or not they are available to any other person.

19. Any foreign commercial fishing vessel that is not licensed under section 8 or authorized under section 17 of the Act, or is in an area where it is not authorized to fish, shall keep its fishing gear stowed in the following manner -

(a) in the case of purse seiners:

- the boom shall be lowered;
- all nets and ropes shall be carried wholly inboard and lashed to the deck or superstructure;
- all boats belonging to the purse seiner shall be carried wholly inboard;
- the helicopter shall be lashed down;

(b) in the case of long-liners;

- all lines shall be stowed below deck;

(c) in the case of trawlers:

- all nets, trawlboards and weights shall be disconnected from their towing or hauling wires, ropes or rigid frames and either stowed below deck or securely lashed to some part of the superstructure of the vessel.

FIRST SCHEDULE

Reg. 8
FORM 1

MAURITIUS FOREIGN COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL LICENCE

Issued to.............................................................................................................
Address..............................................................................................................
Name and address of owner and charterer of vessel if different from above..............
Name and address of agent or other legal representative in Mauritius.......................
Name and address of master of vessel...................................................................

___________________________________________________________________

Name of vessel...................................... Type of vessel.......................................
Gross registered tonnage........................Registered net tonnage...........................
Length...................................................Engine horsepower................................
Port and country of registry.................................................................................
Registration number............................................. Signal letters............................
Radio call sign................................................... Frequency................................

___________________________________________________________________

The vessel, details of which appear above, is hereby authorized to do such of the following as may be indicated on this licence:

___________________________________________________________________

Authorization to fish in offshore waters and on the continental shelf of Mauritius

Fishing operations authorized:...............................................................................
Areas to be fished:...............................................................................................
Species of fish to be taken:...................................................................................
Authorized landing places:....................................................................................
Reporting requirements:.......................................................................................
Period of validity from...................................................until.................................
Fees....................................

Date of issue......................
Approved...........................
Minister

This licence is granted subject to the following conditions -

1. The holder shall comply with and ensure that the vessel is used in conformity with the provisions of the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198_ and the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations 198_.

2. The following conditions:

FIRST SCHEDULE

Reg. 8
FORM 2

MAURITIUS LOCAL COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL LICENCE

Issued to......................................................................................................................
Address.......................................................................................................................

Name, address and nationality of all persons owning any share in the vessel or any share in a company, association or other society of persons owning any share in the vessel...................................................................................................................

Name and address of master of vessel.....................................................................

___________________________________________________________________________

Name of vessel........................ Type of vessel............................................................
Gross registered tonnage............Registered net tonnage...............................................
Length.......................................Engine horsepower....................................................
Port of registry............................................................................................................
Registration number....................Signal letters..............................................................
Radio call sign............................Frequency.................................................................

____________________________________________________________________________

The vessel, details of which appear above, is hereby authorized to do such of the following as may be indicated on this licence:

____________________________________________________________________________

Authorization to fish

Fishing operations authorized:.......................................................................................
Areas to be fished:.......................................................................................................
Species of fish to be taken:...........................................................................................
Authorized landing places:............................................................................................
Reporting requirements:.................................................................................................
Period of validity from............................................................until..................................
Fees....................................

Date of issue......................
Approved..........................
Licensing Officer

_____________________________________________________________________________

This licence is granted subject to the following conditions -

1. The holder shall comply with and ensure that the vessel is used in conformity with the provisions of the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198_ and the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations 198_.

2. The following conditions:

FIRST SCHEDULE

Reg. 8
FORM 3

MAURITIUS RECREATIONAL FISHING VESSEL LICENCE

Issued to............................................................................................................................
Address.............................................................................................................................
Name, address and nationality of all persons owning any share in the vessel or any share in a company, association or other society of persons owning any share in the vessel.................................................................................................................................
Name and address of master of vessel..................................................................................

___________________________________________________________________________

Name of vessel........................................Type of vessel.....................................................
Length................................................... Cross registered tonnage......................................
Engine horsepower..................................Registration number.............................................
Port and country of registry................................................................................................
Signal letters......................................................................................................................
Radio call sign.........................................Frequency...........................................................

___________________________________________________________________________

The vessel, details of which appear above, is hereby authorized to be chartered or to carry paying passengers for purposes of recreational fishing, subject to the conditions of this licence.

___________________________________________________________________________

Fishing operations authorized:.............................................................................................
Number of passengers authorized:.......................................................................................
Period of validity from....................................................until................................................
Fees....................................

Date of issue...................
Approved........................
Licensing Officer

This licence is granted subject to the following conditions -

1. The holder shall comply with and ensure that the vessel is used in conformity with the provisions of the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198_ and the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations 198_.

2. The following conditions:

FIRST SCHEDULE

Reg. 8
FORM 4

MAURITIUS COMMERCIAL SHORE BASE LICENCE

Issued to............................................................................................................................
Address..............................................................................................................................
Name, address and nationality of all persons owning any share in the base or any share in a company, association or other society of persons owning any share in the base....................................................................................................................................
Location of base...................................................................................................................

The holder of this licence is hereby authorized to operate the commercial shore base at the above-named location in connection with the following operations:

____________________________________________________________________________

Fishing operations authorized:...............................................................................................
Areas to be fished:...............................................................................................................
Species of fish to be taken:...................................................................................................
Quantities allowed:................................................................................................................
Form of preserving or processing:.........................................................................................
Reporting requirements:........................................................................................................
Period of validity from.........................................................until.............................................
Fees....................................

Date of issue......................
Approved..........................
Licensing Officer

____________________________________________________________________________

This licence is granted subject to the following conditions -

1. The holder shall comply with and ensure that fishing is conducted in conformity with the provisions of the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198_ and the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations 198_.

2. The following conditions:

FIRST SCHEDULE

Reg. 8
FORM 5

MAURITIUS LARGE NET LICENCE NO. ...

___________________________________________________________________________

Issued to..........................................................................................................................
Address...........................................................................................................................

___________________________________________________________________________

Type of net.......................................................................................................................
Length............................................................. Depth.......................................................
Mesh size.........................................................................................................................
___________________________________________________________________________

Manner of operation..........................................................................................................
Areas to be fished.............................................................................................................
Species of fish to be taken.................................................................................................
Fish to be landed at............................................................................................................

___________________________________________________________________________

This licence is valid for the period from.............................................. to..............................
Date of issue..................................

.................................................
Signature of Licensing Officer

This licence is granted subject to the following conditions:

1. Compliance with the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Act 198_ and the Offshore and Foreign Fisheries Regulations 198_.

2. The following conditions:

SECOND SCHEDULE

Reg. 10(1)

MAURITIUS FEES PAYABLE FOR FOREIGN COMMERCIAL FISHING VESSEL LICENCES

Type of Fishing

Period

Fee

THIRD SCHEDULE

Reg. 10(2)

MAURITIUS FEES PAYABLE FOR OTHER LICENCES

Type of Fishing

Period

Fee

Annexe C - The Fisheries (Amendment) Bill

BILL FOR A FISHERIES (AMENDMENT) ACT

AN ACT

To provide for the better management of fisheries and to amend the Fisheries Act

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 198_.

2. Interpretation.

In this Act -

"principal Act" means the Fisheries Act.

3. Section 2 of principal Act amended.

Section 2 of the principal Act is amended -

(a) by deleting the following definitions -

"bait net";
"basket trap";
"Board";
"carlet net";
"cast net";
"close period";
"fishing limits";
"fishing spear";
"landing net";
"lure";
"sardine net";
"shrimp net";

(b) by deleting the definition of "fish" and replacing it by the following -

""fish" means fish and any other aquatic animal, whether alive or dead, and includes shells and corals;"

(c) in the definition of "fisherman", by inserting the word "so" following the word "boat";

(d) by deleting the definition of "fishing" and replacing it by the following -

""fishing" means fishing for, catching, taking or killing fish by any method;"

(e) by deleting the definition of "fishing boat" and replacing it by the following -

["fishing boat" means any watercraft used for fishing, whether or not with a view to selling the catch;]

[If it is decided to bring recreational fishing vessels within the registration requirements of section 23, fishing boat should he defined as follows; "fishing boat" means any watercraft used for fishing with a view to selling the catch;]

(f) by deleting die definition of "Principal Assistant Secretary" and replacing it by the following -

""Principal Assistant Secretary" means the officer in the Public Service to whom administrative responsibility for fisheries is assigned;"

(g) in the definition of "reserved area", by deleting the words "or a gill net" and replacing them by the words ", gill net or canard net";

(h) by deleting the definition of "undersized fish" and replacing it by the following -

""undersized fish" means any fish of less than the size prescribed for a fish of that species;"

(i) by adding, following the definition of "undersized fish", the following -

""underwater fishing" means fishing by a person submerged in water."

4. Section 8 of principal Act repealed and replaced.

Section 8 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced by the following section -

8. Sale of fish.

(1) No person shall purchase fish from a fisherman and resell it or hold it for resale except pursuant to a licence issued under section 3.

(2) No person shall, in any place except a fish landing station, purchase fish from a fisherman for resale.

(3) No person who purchases fish from a fisherman for resale shall refuse to sell fish at the landing station where he has purchased it.

(4) No person shall sell or offer for sale any fish which is classified by regulations under this Act as a toxic fish.

[The amendments are largely matters of drafting except for subsection (4), which has been narrowed to refer specifically to "toxic fish" rather than to "fish which is unfit for human consumption". The former is already regulated under the Fisheries Act, the latter under the Food and Drugs Act.]

5. Section 9 of principal Act amended.

Section 9 of the principal Act is amended -

(a) in subsection (1), by inserting the words "or any" following the words "undersized fish,";
(b) in subsection (2), by deleting the words "within the fishing limits".

6. New section 9A added to principal Act.

The principal Act is amended by inserting the following section after section 9 -

9A. Marina Reserves.

(1) The Minister may declare any area of marine waters, the seabed underlying such waters, and any associated land areas which are Crown land, to be a marine reserve.

(2) No area of land shall be declared to be a marine reserve except with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for forestry.

(3) Any person who, except with the written permission of the Principal Assistant Secretary, within any marine reserve -

(a) fishes;

(b) Cakes or destroys any coral;

(c) dredges or takes any sand or gravel;

(d) otherwise destroys or disburbs the natural habitat; or

(e) takes or destroys any wreck or part of a wreck - is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of

7. Section 11 of principal Act repealed and replaced.

Section 11 of the Act is repealed and replaced by the following section -

11. Regulation of implements.

(1) The Minister may make regulations prescribing the kinds and specifications of implements which may be used for fishing and requiring a licence for the use of any specified implement for fishing.

(2) Regulations under this section may, subject to section 3(6), provide for a limitation on the number of licences that may be issued for the use of any implement either generally in Mauritius or in any specified place.

(3) Regulations under this section may prohibit the possession of any implement in circumstances which indicate that it has been or is intended to be used for fishing, and may create the rebuttable presumption that any person possessing such an implement in or upon any water has used the implement, or intends to use it, for fishing.

8. Section 12 of principal Act repealed and replaced.

Section 12 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced by the following section -

12. Fishing with unlicensed implements.

(1) No person shall use a large net, canard net or gill net for fishing except pursuant to a licence issued under section 3.

(2) No person shall use for fishing any imp lenient for which a licence is required by regulations made under section 11 except pursuant to a licence issued under section 3.

(3) No person shall possess an implement, which he is prohibited by this section from using for fishing, in circumstances which reasonably indicate that he has used the implement, or intends to use it, for fishing.

(4) It shall be presumed until the contrary is proved that any person possessing an implement in or upon any water has used it, or intends to use it, for fishing.

9. Section 15 of principal Act amended.

Section 15 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (2) -

(a) by inserting the words "of nets" following the word "purchase" in paragraph (a) (i);

(b) by inserting the words "of nets" following the word "purchaser" in paragraph (a) (ii);

(c) by inserting the words "of nets" following the word "purchaser" in paragraph (a) (iv);

(d) by inserting the words "of nets" following the words "after any sale or purchase" in paragraph (b).

10. Section 21 of principal Act amended.

Section 21 of the principal Act is amended by deleting all words following the word "explosive".

11. Section 22 of principal Act amended.

Section 22 of the principal Act is amended -

(a) in subsection (1), by deleting the words "within the fishing limits of Mauritius";

(b) in subsection (3), by deleting the words "underwater implement" and replacing them by the words "implement designed for underwater fishing".

12. Section 32 of principal Act amended.

Section 32 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (2) -

(a) by deleting the number "32" and replacing it by the number "31";
(b) by deleting the number "15" and replacing it by the number "30".

13. Section 35 of principal Act amended.

Section 35 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced by the following section -

35. National Fisheries Committee.

(1) There is established for the purposes of this Act a National Fisheries Committee.

(2) The National Fisheries Committee shall consist of -

(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)

(3) Every member specified in subsection (2) other than an ex-officio member shall -

(a) hold and vacate office as the Minister may determine;
(b) not be considered as holding a public office by virtue of his appointment.

(4) The composition of the National Fisheries Committee shall be published in the Gazette.

14. Section 36 of principal Act amended.

Section 36 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the word "Board" wherever it occurs and replacing it by the words "National Fisheries Committee".

15. Section 37 of principal Act amended.

Section 37 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the word "Board" wherever it occurs and replacing it by the words "National Fisheries Committee".

16. Commencement.

This Act shall come into operation on a day to he fixed by Proclamation.

Annexe D - Draft Fisheries (Implements) Regulations

GOVERNMENT NOTICE NO. ______ OF THE FISHERIES ACT

Regulations made by the Minister under section 38 of the Fisheries Act.

1. These regulations may be cited as the Fisheries (implements) Regulation? 198_.

2. No person shall fish with a basket trap, being a basket with one or more entrances, unless the meshes of the trap are of sufficient size to allow a cylinder measuring 4 centimetres in diameter to pass easily through them.

3. No person shall fish with a cast net, being a conical net with weights attached to the circumference of the base, unless the meshes of the net measure at least 9 centimetres when stretched diagonally when the net is wet.

4. No person shall be in possession of a basket trap or cast net which does not meet the specifications established by regulation 2 or regulation 3, in circumstance which indicate that the trap or net has been, or is intended to be, used for fishing.

5. It shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that a person in possession of a basket trap or cast net in or upon any water has used it, or intends to use it, for fishing.

6. No person shall fish with a large net or a gill net from to _______.

7. No person shall fish with a canard net from to _______.

8. No person shall fish with a large net or canard net between sunset and sunrise.

9. No person shall between sunset and sunrise:

(a) set or remove a gill net;
(b) move a gill net after it has been set.

10. No person shall beat the surface of the water or make any noise for the purpose of inciting any fish to enter a gill net.

[These regulations would be required as a consequence of the deletion of corresponding provisions from the Fisheries Act, as recommended in the draft Fisheries (Amendment) Bill.]


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