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Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

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237Enforcement of nature conservation legislationE+W+S+N.I.
This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)For the purposes of enforcing the nature conservation legislation, a marine enforcement officer has the common enforcement powers conferred by this Act.

(2)In this section “the nature conservation legislation” means—

(a)sections 1 and 2 of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970 (c. 30), and any orders made under section 3 of that Act;

(b)sections 1, 5 to 7, 9, 11, 13, 14 and 14ZA of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (c. 69);

F1(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F1(d). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[F2(e)the Conservation of Offshore Marine Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1013);]

(f)any byelaws made under section 129 or 132 of this Act;

(g)any orders made under section 134 or 136 of this Act;

(h)section 140 of this Act.

[F3(i)regulations 43, 45, 47, 54, 59, 60 and 122(1) and (2) of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1012);

(j)any byelaws or orders made by virtue of regulation 32 or 40 of those Regulations.]

(3)Subject to subsections (8) and (9), the powers which a marine enforcement officer has for the purposes of enforcing the nature conservation legislation may be exercised—

(a)in the relevant enforcement area (and in relation to any vessel, aircraft or marine installation in that area);

(b)in relation to any British vessel or British marine installation outside the UK marine area;

(c)in Scotland or Northern Ireland, or the Scottish or Northern Ireland inshore region, in relation to an offence which the officer reasonably believes has been committed—

(i)within the relevant enforcement area, or

(ii)outside the UK marine area and in circumstances where a British vessel or British marine installation was involved in the commission of the offence;

(d)in relation to any vessel, aircraft or marine installation in the Scottish offshore region which has been pursued there in accordance with subsection (4).

(4)A vessel, aircraft or marine installation is pursued in accordance with this subsection if—

(a)immediately before the pursuit of the vessel, aircraft or installation commences, the vessel, aircraft or installation is in the relevant enforcement area,

(b)before the pursuit of the vessel, aircraft or installation commences, a signal is given for it to stop, and

(c)the pursuit of the vessel, aircraft or installation is not interrupted.

(5)The signal referred to in subsection (4)(b) must be given in such a way as to be audible or visible from the vessel, aircraft or installation in question.

(6)For the purposes of subsection (4)(c), pursuit is not interrupted by reason only of the fact that—

(a)the method of carrying out the pursuit, or

(b)the identity of the vessel or aircraft carrying out the pursuit,

changes during the course of the pursuit.

(7)Nothing in this section affects any right of hot pursuit which a marine enforcement officer may have under international law.

(8)The powers which a civilian marine enforcement officer has for the purposes of enforcing the nature conservation legislation may not be exercised in relation to any British warship.

(9)The powers which a marine enforcement officer has for the purposes of enforcing the nature conservation legislation may not be exercised in relation to any vessel within subsection (10) unless—

(a)in the case of a third country vessel, other than a vessel falling within paragraph (b) or (c) of that subsection, the United Kingdom is entitled under international law to exercise those powers without the consent of the flag state, or

(b)the Commissioners have given authority to exercise those powers.

(10)The vessels are—

(a)a third country vessel;

(b)a warship that is being used by the government of a State other than the United Kingdom;

(c)any other vessel that is being used by such a government for any non-commercial purpose.

(11)The Commissioners may give authority under subsection (9)(b) only if the flag state has consented to the United Kingdom exercising those powers (whether generally or in relation to the vessel in question).

(12)In giving such authority, the Commissioners must impose such conditions or limitations on the exercise of the powers as are necessary to give effect to any conditions or limitations imposed by the flag state.

(13)In this section—

  • British vessel” means any vessel which—

    (a)

    is registered in the United Kingdom under Part 2 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (c. 21),

    (b)

    is, as a Government ship, registered in the United Kingdom in pursuance of an Order in Council under section 308 of that Act,

    (c)

    falls within section 1(1)(d) of that Act (small ships),

    (d)

    is exempt from registration under section 294 of that Act (general power to dispense),

    (e)

    is a British warship, or

    (f)

    is registered under the law of Gibraltar;

  • Government ship” has the same meaning as in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;

  • the relevant enforcement area” means the area that consists of—

    (a)

    England and Wales, and

    (b)

    the UK marine area, excluding—

    (i)

    the Scottish inshore region,

    (ii)

    the Scottish offshore region, and

    (iii)

    the Northern Ireland inshore region.

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Amendments (Textual)

Commencement Information

I1S. 237 in force at 12.1.2010 by S.I. 2009/3345, art. 2, Sch. para. 18

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