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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 238: Enforcement of fisheries legislation

633.This section sets out the areas in which and the vessels and installations in relation to which an MEO may exercise his enforcement powers for the purposes of enforcing sea fisheries legislation. The enforcement powers that may be exercised are both the common enforcement powers in Chapter 2 and fisheries specific powers in Chapter 3 relating to: the inspection and seizure of objects at sea (section 264); seizing fish or fishing gear for the purpose of forfeiture (sections 268 and 269); detention of vessels in connection with court proceedings (section 279); and production of certain equipment (section 284).

634.MEOs are able to use the common powers in circumstances as described in subsection (4). MEOs may use these powers in the relevant enforcement area as defined by section 238(10). MEOs cannot use their powers in Scotland or Northern Ireland or their waters unless in domestic hot pursuit (see explanatory note to section 236) or if they are using them in relation to a British fishing boat which is not a Scottish or Northern Ireland fishing boat. However, the effect of section 239 is that they will retain British sea-fishery officer powers where they do not have MEO powers.

635.Outside British fishery limits, MEOs may exercise their powers in relation to any British vessel or marine installation, other than a Scottish or Northern Ireland fishing boat.

636.Only an officer of the Armed Services may exercise enforcement powers in relation to a warship.

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