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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Section 275: Forfeiture etc of prohibited items

698.This section provides a power for certain fishing gear seized by an enforcement officer to be forfeited to the relevant authority for disposal. The forfeiture power applies to any fishing gear seized on board a vessel or from the sea which when seized by the enforcement officer could not be used for any form of fishing without committing an offence under the law of England and Wales. Examples of such gear include “French Dredges”, gill and other types of nets with mesh sizes between 71-89mm. The forfeiture power does not apply to gear found on land.

Section 276: Forfeiture etc of fish failing to meet size requirements

699.This section provides a forfeiture power in respect of fish that fail to meet size requirements which corresponds to the forfeiture power in respect of fishing gear in section 275.

Section 277: Further provision about forfeiture under section 275 or 276

700.This section gives effect to Schedule 18 which makes detailed provision in respect of the forfeiture under section 275 or 276 of gear or fish which fail to meet size requirements.

Section 278: Forfeiture by court following conviction

701.This section applies where, after a successful prosecution under fisheries legislation, the court orders the forfeiture of the fish or gear in respect of which the offence was committed. The relevant authority will be ordered to take possession of the property and may dispose of it as it sees fit. The proceeds of any sale may be retained by the relevant authority and the court may order the defendant to pay the costs of the relevant authority in storing the property.

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