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Statutory Rules of Northern Ireland

2000 No. 200

SEA FISHERIES

Crabs and Lobsters (Minimum Size) Order (Northern Ireland) 2000

Made

26th May 2000

Coming into operation

30th June 2000

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in exercise of the powers conferred on it by section 127(1) and (3A) of the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966(1) and of every other power enabling it in that behalf, hereby makes the following Order:

Citation and commencement

1.  This Order may be cited as the Crabs and Lobsters (Minimum Size) Order (Northern Ireland) 2000 and shall come into operation on 30th June 2000.

Interpretation

2.—(1) In this Order—

the Act” means the Fisheries Act (Northern Ireland) 1966;

“lobster” means lobster of the species Homarus gammarus.

(2) For the purposes of this Order, the size of:—

(a)lobsters, shall be measured as shown in the illustration of a lobster set out in Schedule 1 as the length of the carapace, parallel to the midline from the back of either eye socket to the distal edge of the carapace;

(b)spider crabs shall be measured as shown in the illustration of a spider crab set out in Schedule 1 as the length of the carapace measured along the midline, from the edge of the carapace, between the rostrums to the posterior edge of the carapace; and

(c)velvet crabs, shall be measured as shown in the illustration of a velvet crab set out in Schedule 1 as the width of the carapace measured across the broadest part, excluding spines, of the back.

“spider crab” means crab of the species Maia squinado;

“velvet crab” means crab of the species Necora puber.

Prescribed minimum size

3.  For the purpose of section 127(1) of the Act there are hereby prescribed in Schedule 2 to this Order the minimum sizes in relation to lobsters, male spider crabs and velvet crabs.

Exemption

4.  The bringing to land, landing, sale, exposure or offer for sale or possession of lobsters, male spider crabs and velvet crabs which are landed from foreign fishing boats are exempted from the prohibitions imposed by section 127(1) of the Act as read with Article 3 and the Schedule.

Revocation

5.  The Undersized Lobsters Order (Northern Ireland) 1993(2) is hereby revoked.

Sealed with the Official Seal of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on 26th May 2000.

L.S.

G. Lavery

Senior Officer of the

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

SCHEDULE 1Illustrations

SCHEDULE 2Prescribed Minimum Size

SpeciesMinimum Landing Sizes
lobsters87 mm
spider crabs (male)130 mm
velvet crabs65 mm

Explanatory Note

(This note is not part of the Order.)

Section 127(1) of the Fisheries (Northern Ireland) Act 1966 (“the 1966 Act”) prohibits the bringing to land, landing, sale or offering or exposure for sale or the possession for the purposes of sale of sea fish of a description prescribed by regulations where those fish are smaller than the minimum size so prescribed. For the purposes of this sub-section, this Order prescribes the minimum size for lobsters, male spider crabs and velvet crabs (Article 3 and Schedule 2).

Section 127(1)(A) of the 1966 Act provides that, in the case of lobsters, any possession (whether or not for the purposes of sale) of a lobster smaller than the minimum size is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to the possession of a lobster smaller than the prescribed minimum size where that lobster has been purchased by retail in a shop.

There is an exemption in relation to foreign fishing boats (Article 4).

A person who commits an offence under section 127 of the 1966 Act, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale (£5,000).

(1)

1966 c. 17 (N.I.) as amended by S.I. 1981/227 (N.I. 7) Article 10(2) and Schedule 4