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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Act into force:
(1)The Ministers may by order provide—
(a)that in any specified area within [F2relevant] British fishery limits fishing by fishing boats [F3(whether relevant British fishing boats, Scottish fishing boats or foreign fishing boats)] is prohibited unless authorised by a licence granted by one of the Ministers;
(b)that in any specified area outside those limits fishing by [F2relevant]British fishing boats is prohibited unless so authorised.
(2)Such an order may apply to fishing generally in the specified area or to fishing—
(a)for a specified description of sea fish;
(b)by a specified method;
(c)during a specified season of the year or other period; or
(d)in the case of an order under subsection (1)(a), by fishing boats registered in a specified country,
and whether the order is general or limited in scope it may provide for exceptions from the prohibition contained in it.
(3)Where any fishing boat is used in contravention of any prohibition imposed by an order under this section, the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) are each guilty of an offence under this subsection.
(4)An order under this section, if made with the consent of the Treasury given for the purposes of this subsection, may authorise the making of a charge for a licence under this section.
Such an order shall specify a maximum charge and may specify different maxima in relation to different classes of licence.
(5)A licence under this section shall be granted to the owner or charterer in respect of a named vessel and may authorise fishing generally or may confer limited authority by reference to, in particular,—
(a)the area within which fishing is authorised;
(b)the periods, times or particular voyages during which fishing is authorised;
(c)the descriptions and quantities of fish which may be taken; or
(d)the method of sea fishing.
(6)A licence under this section may authorise fishing either unconditionally or subject to such conditions as appear to the Minister granting the licence to be necessary or expedient for the regulation of sea fishing, and in particular a licence may contain conditions—
(a)as to the landing of fish or parts of fish taken under the authority of the licence (including specifying the ports at which the catch is to be landed); or
(b)as to the use to which the fish taken may be put:
and if a licence condition is broken the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) of the vessel named in the licence are each guilty of an offence under this subsection.
[F4(6A)The conditions subject to which a licence may be granted under this section may differ as between different vessels or between vessels of different descriptions.]
[F5(6B)A licence containing a condition restricting the time which a vessel may spend at sea may make provision as to the circumstances in which time is, or is not, to count as time spent at sea.
(6C)The Ministers shall by order make provision as to the principles on which the time which vessels may spend at sea is to be arrived at for the purposes of any condition included in a licence by virtue of subsection (6)(c) above.
(6D)Before considering what action to take under subsection (6C) above, the Ministers shall first give due consideration to a scheme of decommissioning in order to achieve a significant reduction in the capacity of the fishing fleet.]
(7)The Minister granting a licence under this section may require the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) of the vessel named in the licence to provide him with such statistical information as he may direct, and a person who fails [F6without reasonable excuse] to comply with such a requirement is guilty of an offence under this subsection.
[F7(7A)Any person who—
(a)for the purpose of obtaining a licence under this section; or
(b)in purported compliance with subsection (7) above,
furnishes information which he knows to be false in a material particular or recklessly furnishes information which is false in a material particular shall be guilty of an offence under this subsection.]
(8)The licensing powers conferred by this section may be exercised so as to limit the number of fishing boats, or of any class of fishing boats, engaged in fishing in any area, or in fishing in any area for any description of fish, to such extent as appears to the Ministers necessary or expedient for the regulation of sea fishing.
(9)A licence under this section—
(a)may be varied from time to time; and
(b)may be revoked or suspended, if this appears to the Minister who granted the licence to be necessary or expedient for the regulation of sea fishing.
[F8(9A)Where an order under this section prohibits fishing in a specified area for a specified description of sea fish there shall be returned to the sea forthwith—
(a)any sea fish of that description taken on board a fishing boat in contravention of the order; and
(b)except so far as the order otherwise provides, any sea fish of that description taken on board a fishing boat in that area in the course of fishing for sea fish of a different description;
but, where the order applies only to fishing by a specified method or during a specified period or by boats of a specified description, paragraph (b) above applies only if the fish are caught by that method, during that period or by a boat of that description.
(9B)Where subsection (9A) above is not complied with in the case of any fishing boat, the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) shall each be guilty of an offence under that subsection.]
(10)If a licence is varied, revoked or suspended the Minister who granted it may, if he considers it appropriate in all the circumstances of the case, refund the whole or part of any charge made for the licence.
(11)The Ministers may make arrangements for any of their licensing powers under this section (but not the power to make orders under subsection (1)) to be exercised by other persons on their behalf.
(12)In this section [F2relevant]“British fishing boat” means a fishing boat [F9which is not a Scottish fishing boat and]which is registered in the United Kingdom or is British-owned, and “foreign fishing boat” means a fishing boat which is not so registered or owned [F10and which is not a Scottish fishing boat].]
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