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Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Act 2013

Section 60 - Fixed penalty notices

171.A fixed penalty notice is a form of sanction that may be offered in certain circumstances as an alternative to seeking a criminal conviction in court. Where a fixed penalty is accepted and paid within a deadline the matter is concluded. The issuing or payment of a fixed penalty is not recorded as a criminal conviction nor can it be treated as such.

172.An alleged offender has the choice of not accepting the fixed penalty by simply not paying the penalty by the deadline set. In these circumstances the matter is thereafter reported to the procurator fiscal and is dealt with in the criminal courts. Marine Scotland currently offers fixed penalty notices for sea fisheries related offences under the provisions of section 25 of the 2007 Act.

173.Section 60(2) amends section 25(2) of the 2007 Act to change the reference to British sea-fishery officer to fixed penalty officer. Fixed penalty officers are persons appointed by the Scottish Ministers and are defined in section 25(3) of the 2007 Act through an amendment introduced through section 60(2)(d).

174.Section 60(2) makes a series of changes to section 25(2) of the 2007 Act to expand the current definition of what offences are eligible for fixed penalty notices. The offences covered by fixed penalty regime is expanded to include those offences in marine and nature conservation legislation in respect of which enforcement officers specified in section 25(2A) of the 2007 Act have compliance monitoring and enforcement functions. Section 60(2)(b) also modifies section 25(2A) of the 2007 Act to add offences under Part 4 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, and offences under section 5(5) (wellboat operations) of the Act to the fixed penalty regime. Section 25(2A) of the 2007 Act is introduced through section 60(2)(c) of the Act.

175.Section 60(2)(c) inserts section 25(2B) in the 2007 Act to allow the Scottish Ministers to amend the definition of a relevant offence or the specification of different enforcement officers by order.

176.Section 60(3) amends section 27 of the 2007 Act to replace the current cap on the maximum fixed penalty notice with one of £10,000.

177.Section 60(4) amends section 31 of the 2007 Act to change the reference to British sea-fishery officer to fixed penalty officer. Again this reflects the fact that it will be fixed penalty officers who will issue fixed penalty notices in future rather than British sea-fishery officers as at present.

178.Section 60(5) of the Act replaces the heading at Part 4 of the 2007 Act with “Fixed penalty notices” to reflect the fact that the fixed penalty provisions in Part 4 will cover areas other than sea fisheries.

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