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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 212: Taking of crabs and lobsters for scientific purposes

539.Section 17 provides that it is an offence to take, possess, sell, etc certain edible crabs and lobsters. The amendments to section 17 provide for an exemption where a person has authorisation to take edible crabs and lobsters for scientific purposes. Authorisation for the taking of such shellfish from within British fishery limits, not including the Scottish zone, Northern Ireland zone or Welsh zone, will be granted by the MMO, and authorisation for the taking of such shellfish from the Welsh zone will be granted by the Welsh Ministers. As well as extending to England and Wales, the amendment also extends to Scotland. This ensures that an authorisation granted by the MMO or the Welsh Ministers to take crabs and lobsters from those parts of the sea is recognised in Scotland, even though no authorisation may be granted by the Scottish Ministers to take such shellfish from the Scottish zone.

540.The ban on taking crabs covers those carrying spawn attached to their tail or other exterior part and those which have recently cast their shell. Should an order covering lobsters be made, this will also allow the MMO or the Welsh Ministers (as the case may be) to grant authorisations in respect of taking lobsters for scientific purposes.

541.The new subsections mean that the taking of crabs and lobsters for scientific purposes will not be an offence under section 17 and brings the Act in line with both Community and domestic legislation.

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