Fisheries Act 1981

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1981 c. 29


Fisheries Act 1981

1981 CHAPTER 29

An Act to establish a Sea Fish Industry Authority with the duty of promoting the efficiency of the sea fish industry in the United Kingdom; to provide financial assistance for that industry; to amend the law relating to the regulation of sea fishing; to make new provision in relation to fish farming; to amend the enactments relating to whales and the importation of live fish; to extend sections 6 and 7 of the Freshwater and Salmon Fisheries (Scotland) Act 1976 to the part of the River Tweed outside Scotland; to repeal section 5(3) of the Fishery Board (Scotland) Act 1882; and to enable the Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland to incur expenditure on fishery protection in waters adjacent to Northern Ireland.

[2nd July 1981]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I The Sea Fish Industry Authority

Part I

The Sea Fish Industry Authority

Constitution, duties and powers

Constitution, duties and powers

S-1 Constitution of the Authority.

1 Constitution of the Authority.

(1) There shall be a body known as the Sea Fish Industry Authority.

(2) The Authority shall consist of not more than twelve members appointed by the Ministers and of those members the Ministers shall appoint one to be chairman and another to be deputy chairman.

(3) The chairman, deputy chairman and two of the other members of the Authority shall be persons appearing to the Ministers to have no such financial or commercial interests as are likely to affect them in the discharge of their functions as members independent of the sea fish industry.

(4) The other members of the Authority shall be persons appearing to the Ministers to represent the interests of the sea fish industry or of any part of that industry, and before appointing those members the Ministers shall consult such organisations representing that industry or any part of it as appear to the Ministers to be appropriate.

(5) Schedule 1 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the Authority.

S-2 Duties of the Authority.

2 Duties of the Authority.

(1) It shall be the duty of the Authority to exercise its powers under this Part of this Act for the purpose of promoting the efficiency of the sea fish industry and so as to serve the interests of that industry as a whole.

(2) In exercising its powers under this Part of this Act the Authority shall have regard to the interests of consumers of sea fish and sea fish products.

(3) The Ministers may, after consultation with the Authority, give the Authority such directions as they think necessary for ensuring that the activities of the Authority are consistent with subsection (1) above and such other directions as appear to them to be requisite in the public interest; and the Authority shall give effect to any such directions.

(4) Where the Ministers give a direction under this section they shall lay before Parliament a statement setting out the direction.

(5) It shall be the duty of the Authority, if so required by any Minister of the Crown, to act as his agent in any matter relating to the sea fish industry.

S-3 Powers of the Authority.

3 Powers of the Authority.

(1) The Authority shall have power—

(a ) to carry out research and development with respect to any matters relating to the sea fish industry;

(b ) to give advice on any such matters;

(c ) to provide training in such matters or to assist in the provision of such training by making grants or by exercising supervisory or co-ordinating functions;

(d ) to promote the marketing and consumption in, and the export from, the United Kingdom of sea fish and sea fish products;

(e ) to make loans for assisting persons to meet capital expenditure on constructing, reconditioning or improving fishing vessels or on acquiring, reconditioning or improving plant for making ice or processing sea fish;

(f ) to give financial assistance (by way of loan, grant or guarantee) to persons incurring expenditure in forming, carrying on or extending the activities of co-operatives for the sale of sea fish or for the purchase of fishing gear, fuel, stores or other materials requisite for the sea fish industry.

(2) The Authority may charge fees for any services which it provides and may accept voluntary contributions to its expenses or to its expenses in respect of any particular matter.

(3) In determining its policy with respect to the provision of training or the making of grants under paragraph (c ) of subsection (1) above the Authority shall consult with such bodies as may be designated for the purpose by the Ministers; and the Authority shall not without the approval of the Ministers exercise supervisory or co-ordinating functions under that paragraph.

(4) In determining its policy with respect to any class of financial assistance under subsection (1)(e ) or (f ) above the Authority shall act with the approval of the Ministers.

(5) The Authority may provide services for persons concerned with the sea fish industry of countries other than the United Kingdom but shall not do so unless the full cost of the services is recovered by fees and the Authority is satisfied that the services can be provided without prejudice to its other activities.

(6) In Part I of Schedule 1 to the Overseas Development and Co-operation Act 1980 (bodies with power to assist in overseas development) after the entry relating to the Scottish Tourist Board there shall be inserted the words ‘The Sea Fish Industry Authority’; and in section 2(3) of that Act (Ministers whose consent is required) after paragraph (a ) there shall be inserted—

‘(aa ) in relation to the exercise of that power by the Sea Fish Industry Authority, the consent of the Ministers as defined in section 14(1) of the Fisheries Act 1981;’.

(7) The Authority may enter into such agreements, acquire such property and do all such other things as may in its opinion be necessary or desirable for the exercise of the powers conferred by the foregoing provisions of this section and may dispose as it thinks fit of any property acquired by it.

Financial provisions

S-4 Levies.

4 Levies.

(1) For the purpose of financing its activities the Authority may impose a levy on persons engaged in the sea fish industry.

(2) Any levy under this section shall be imposed by regulations made by the Authority and confirmed by an order of the Ministers; and in this section ‘prescribed’ means prescribed by such regulations.

(3) Regulations under this section may impose a levy either—

(a ) in respect of the weight of sea fish or sea fish products landed in the United Kingdom or trans-shipped within British fishery limits at a prescribed rate which, in the case of sea fish, shall not exceed 0.8p. per kilogram; or

(b ) in respect of the value, ascertained in the prescribed manner, of sea fish or sea fish products landed or trans-shipped as aforesaid at a prescribed rate not exceeding 1 per cent. of that value.

(4) If regulations under this section impose a levy as provided in subsection (3)(a ) above the prescribed rate in relation to any sea fish product shall be such that its yield will not in the opinion of the Authority exceed the yield from a levy at the rate of 0.8p. per kilogram on the sea fish required on average (whether alone or together with any other substance or article) to produce a kilogram of that product.

(5) Different rates may be prescribed for sea fish or sea fish products of different descriptions; and the Authority may repay the whole or part of the levy in such circumstances as it may determine but not so as to discriminate between different persons in the same circumstances.

(6) Any levy imposed under this section shall be payable by such persons engaged in the sea fish industry, in such proportions and at such times as may be prescribed; and the amount payable by any person on account of the levy shall be a debt due from him to the Authority and recoverable accordingly.

(7) The Ministers may by order increase or further increase the rate per kilogram specified in subsections (3)(a ) and (4) above and the percentage specified in subsection (3)(b ) above.

(8) For the purposes of this section—

(a ) parts of a sea fish shall be treated as sea fish products and not as sea fish;

(b ) references to the landing of fish include references to the collection for consumption of sea fish which have been bred, reared or cultivated in the course of fish farming whether in the sea or otherwise.

(9) Any order under subsection (2) above shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament and no order shall be made under subsection (7) above unless a draft of it has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(10) Schedule 2 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the making of regulations and orders under subsection (2) above.

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