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Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013

Section 31 - Offence of fishing for salmon during annual close time

96.Section 31 is a technical amendment to section 14 of the 2003 Act, which makes it an offence to fish for or to take salmon during the annual close time, and also provides for the circumstances in which the offence does not apply.

97.Section 14(1) of the 2003 Act makes it an offence, punishable on summary conviction by a fine of up to Level 4 on the standard scale, to fish for or take salmon by means of rod and line during the annual close time. Annual close time is defined in section 37 of the 2003 Act. Section 14(2) of the 2003 Act, as modified by section 31, clarifies the circumstances in which the section 14(1) offence does not apply, including where a person fishes for or takes salmon by rod and line during a period within the annual close time when such fishing is permitted by regulations in force in the salmon fishery district in question.

98.Section 29(4)(b) amends section 38 of the 2003 Act to enable the Scottish Ministers to specify in regulations under section 38, periods during the annual close time in which it is permitted to fish for or to take salmon by rod and line. In considering the effect of that amendment, doubt arose whether the reference to “regulations” in section 14(2) of the 2003 Act included a reference to regulations under section 38. The amendment in section 31 is intended to put the matter beyond doubt, and the section amends section 14(2) of the 2003 Act to clarify that the offence in section 14(1) of the 2003 Act does not apply where fishing for or taking salmon by rod and line during the close time is permitted under the measures specified in section 14(2)(a) to (e).

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