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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 218: Limitation of licences

567.This section amends section 26 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975. Section 26 enables the Environment Agency, by order confirmed by the Minister, to limit the number of licences which it may issue for fishing for salmon or trout other than rainbow trout with any specified instrument other than rod and line. References to “the Minister” are replaced by references to the appropriate national authority throughout this section.

568.The amendments made by subsection (2) allow orders under section 26 to be made in respect of any kind of licence issued under section 25. Exceptions to this are provided by subsection (3). This inserts new section 26(1A) and (1B), which sets out the circumstances in which an order may be made and excludes fishing by rod and line or historic installation from the scope of an order. This will allow the Environment Agency to limit the number of licences for all those fisheries subject to the system of licensing under section 25(1). New section 26(1A)(b) will empower the Environment Agency to limit the number of licences in fisheries that have a significant impact on the marine or aquatic environment.

569.The Minister is currently required to hold a local inquiry before confirming an order made under section 26 if the number of licences proposed to be issued is less than the number of licences issued in any of the three preceding years, or if an objection is made by any person who has held a relevant licence during each of the two preceding years. Subsection (4) amends section 26(3) to remove the obligation to hold a local inquiry, and replaces it with a power to do so.

570.Section 26(4) and (5) prohibits Ministers from confirming an order if it fails to secure that any person who is dependent on fishing for his livelihood may obtain a licence under it. Subsection (5) replaces this requirement with a power for the Environment Agency to pay compensation.

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