White Fish and Herring Industries Act 1948

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1948 c. 51


White Fish and Herring Industries Act, 1948

(11 & 12 Geo. 6.) CHAPTER 51.

An Act to provide for regulating the mesh of fishing nets, for licensing fishing in the North Sea, for giving financial assistance or further financial assistance to inshore fishermen and persons desiring to engage in the inshore fishing industry, to co-operative societies and organisations of fishermen and to the Herring Industry Board, for amending the Herring Industry Acts, 1935 to 1944, and for purposes connected with the matters aforesaid.

[30th July 1948]

Be it enacted by the King'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:—

S-1 Provision for giving effect to Convention as to size of mesh of nets used in sea fishing.

1 Provision for giving effect to Convention as to size of mesh of nets used in sea fishing.

(1) Whereas a Convention providing (among other matters) for the regulation of the meshes of fishing nets was signed in London on the fifth day of April, nineteen hundred and forty-six, on behalf of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom:

And whereas it is necessary, for the purpose of giving full effect to the said Convention, to extend the powers conferred by section three of the Sea-Fishing Industry Act, 1933 , as amended by section thirty-eight of the Sea Fish Industry Act, 1938 , to regulate the mesh of fishing nets carried in British fishing boats, so as to be exercisable in the territorial waters adjacent to the United Kingdom as well as outside those waters:

Now, therefore, paragraph (a ) of subsection (3) of the said section three as so amended (which excludes the territorial waters adjacent to the United Kingdom from the operation of any order made under that section) shall cease to have effect, and nothing in any byelaw, rule, order or regulation made under the Fisheries (Ireland) Act, 1842 , section four of the Sea Fisheries (Scotland) Amendment Act, 1885 , section two of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act, 1888 , section six of the Herring Fisheries (Scotland) Act, 1889 , or section eight of the Sea Fisheries Regulation (Scotland) Act, 1895 , shall be taken to authorise the carrying of fishing nets in circumstances where the carrying of those nets would otherwise be unlawful by virtue of an order made under the said section three.

(2) With a view to enforcing any order made under the said section three as amended by the preceding subsection, any fishery officer of a local fisheries committee constituted by an order under section one of the Sea Fisheries Regulation Act, 1888, may, within the district of the committee, go on board any British fishing boat (within the meaning of that section) registered in the United Kingdom and search for and examine all fishing nets carried in that boat, and may seize any net in respect of which a contravention of an order under this section has been, or is being, committed; and a local fisheries committee may take proceedings in respect of any contravention of the said section three as so amended occurring within the district of the committee.

S-2 Licensing of British fishing boats in North Sea.

2 Licensing of British fishing boats in North Sea.

(1) As from such day as may be appointed by an order made by the Ministers and subject to such exceptions as may be made by any such order, no British fishing boat registered in the United Kingdom shall be used by way of trade or business for fishing for white fish in the North Sea except under the authority of a licence granted by one of the Ministers and for the time being in force.

(2) The licensing powers conferred by the preceding subsection may be so exercised as to limit the number of British fishing boats or any class of such boats engaged in fishing for white fish in the North Sea to such extent as appears to the Ministers to be necessary or expedient for the purpose of preventing overfishing, but the Ministers shall secure so far as practicable that the exercise of those powers does not cause undue hardship to any person.

(3) If subsection (1) of this section is contravened in the case of any fishing boat, the master, the owner and the charterer (if any) shall each be liable on summary conviction—

(a ) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds, or to both such imprisonment and such fine; and

(b ) on a second or subsequent conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds, or to both such imprisonment and such fine;

and the court by which the offender is convicted may order the forfeiture of any net and gear used in the contravention.

(4) Section six hundred and eighty-four of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894 (which relates to the jurisdiction of courts) shall apply for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of that Act.

(5) Any person who, by virtue of section eleven of the Sea Fisheries Act, 1883, is a British sea-fishery officer may seize any net and gear used in contravening subsection (1) of this section, and may exercise, with respect to any fishing boat within the limits of the territorial waters adjacent to Great Britain in the North Sea and with respect to any British fishing boat registered in the United Kingdom in any part of the North Sea, such of the powers conferred on British sea-fishery officers by paragraphs (1) to (8) of section twelve of the Sea Fisheries Act, 1883, as may be conferred on him by order of the Ministers, being powers which the Ministers consider necessary for the enforcement of subsection (1) of this section; and for the purposes of an order under this subsection—

(a ) section twelve of the Sea Fisheries Act, 1883, shall apply as if any reference in paragraph (7) of that section to that Act included a reference to subsection (1) of this section; and

(b ) section fourteen of that Act, as amended by any subsequent enactment (which section provides for the protection of sea-fishery officers and for the punishment of persons obstructing them) shall apply as if any reference in that section to that Act included a reference to this section.

(6) An order appointing a day for the purposes of this section shall not be made unless the Ministers are satisfied that measures substantially equivalent to the provisions of this section are being taken by the governments of other countries interested in fishing in the North Sea, and in exercising the powers conferred by this section the Ministers shall have regard to the extent to which fishing in the North Sea is being restricted by those governments.

(7) For the purposes of this section, the limits of the North Sea shall be defined as follows:—

(a ) on the north, by the parallel of the sixty-first degree of latitude;

(b ) on the east and south,—

(i) by the coasts of Norway between the parallel of the sixty-first degree of latitude and Lindesnaes Lighthouse (Norway);

(ii) by a straight line drawn from Lindesnaes Lighthouse (Norway) to Hanstholm Lighthouse (Denmark);

(iii) by the coasts of Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, as far as Gris Nez Lighthouse;

(c ) on the west,—

(i) by a straight line drawn from Gris Nez Lighthouse (France) to the easternmost lighthouse at South Foreland (England);

(ii) by the eastern coasts of England and Scotland;

(iii) by a straight line joining Duncansby Head (Scotland) and the southern point of South Ronaldshay (Orkney Islands);

(iv) by the eastern...

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