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Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013

Section 43 – Retention of property seized by British sea-fishery officers

127.Section 43 provides the Scottish Ministers with the power to retain property seized in the Scottish enforcement area or on board a Scottish fishing vessel, by British sea-fishery officers (BSFOs) using powers other than those contained within section 39.

128.Section 43(2) requires BSFOs to deliver seized property to the Scottish Ministers as soon as is reasonably practicable. Section 43(4) allows Scottish Ministers to retain said property. In accordance with paragraph 13 of schedule 2, in circumstances where the property is live shellfish, BSFOs may, however, return such animals to the sea to mature, without first delivering them to Scottish Ministers.

129.Section 43(5) requires Scottish Ministers, in certain circumstances, to release seized property and make it available for collection as soon as is practicable. Release of property is required when a procurator fiscal takes no proceedings in respect of an offence where the property was seized, where a fixed penalty notice has been paid in respect of the offence, and for proceedings which have been concluded without the property being subject to any order for forfeiture.

130.The grounds for release of property under sections 43(5) and 43(6) do not apply to property if it is liable to be forfeited under section 46 or 47.

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