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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 229: Handling fish

603.Section 32 of the Salmon Act 1986 makes it an offence to handle salmon or sea trout in suspicious circumstances. A person is guilty of the offence if, at a time when he believes or it would be reasonable for him to suspect that an offence involving taking, killing or landing a salmon or sea trout has been committed, he receives the salmon or sea trout, or undertakes or assists in its retention, removal or disposal by or for the benefit of another person, or if he arranges to do so.

604.This section extends the offence to eels, lampreys, smelt, freshwater fish, and other specified fish (by order under section 40A of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975). Salmon, trout, eel, smelt, fish and freshwater fish are given the same meaning as in section 41(1) of that Act.

605.Subsection (3)(c) removes the requirement for the undertaking or assisting to have been “for the benefit of another person”. The effect is that a person commits an offence if he undertakes, for instance, the disposal of fish for his own benefit and knows or suspects that the fish was unlawfully taken.

606.Subsection (5) adds the sale of fish to the list of offences relevant to the commission of an offence under section 32. This means it becomes an offence to handle a fish sold in contravention of, for example, byelaws.

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