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Tuesday, 25 May 2010 13:22


Legal Framework for the Fishing Industry.

Legal Framework for the Fishing Industry.


The Fisheries Act (Cap. 391 section 4):  


Provides the legal authority for this Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) in terms of “schemes for the management and development of fisheries in the waters of Barbados”.


The Chief Fisheries Officer is responsible for developing and keeping such schemes under review. The Act sets out the mandatory content, urges consultation in preparation and review, and requires that approval for implementation be obtained from the Minister. The FMP forms the basis for fisheries policy, management (both conservation and development), administration and the formulation or implementation of fisheries-related legislation. It may be reviewed at any time during the plan period, and readers are advised to consult the most current version.


Legislation is one of the most obvious and important expressions of the fisheries policy and planning. Following are some existing and planned legislation relevant to fishing in Barbados.




Existing legislation Fisheries Act (1993, amended 2000):


Based on the OECS harmonized legislation, covers formulating and reviewing fisheries management and development schemes; the establishment of a fisheries advisory committee; fisheries access agreements; local and foreign fishing licensing; sport fishing; registration of fishing vessels; construction and alteration of fishing vessels; fisheries research; fisheries enforcement and the obligation to supply information. Also specifies conservation measures such as prohibiting the use of any explosive, poison or other noxious substance; closed seasons, gear restrictions, creation of marine reserves. Gives the Minister responsible for fisheries the authority to create new regulations for the management of fisheries as and when necessary.




Fisheries (Management) Regulations (1998):


Includes:- mesh size restrictions for seine nets (3.81cm, stretched mesh, minimum size) and fish traps (3.18 cm at narrowest point); the mandatory installation of escape panels and identification marks on fish traps; prohibits the use of trammel nets and other entangling nets; prohibits the capture of lobsters carrying eggs or removing the eggs from lobsters (scrubbing); prohibits the capture, possession or sale of marine turtles, turtle eggs and turtle parts; bans the use of SCUBA for harvesting sea eggs; regulates the sea egg fishery through the designation of closed seasons and closed areas by the Minister responsible for fisheries, prohibits landing tunas of less than 3.2 kg live weight; stipulates that aquatic flora or fish to be used for ornamental purposes may only be fished with the written permission of the Chief Fisheries Officer, stipulates that corals may not be damaged, destroyed or fished without the written permission of the Chief Fisheries Officer. The maximum penalties for breaking of any these regulations are a fine of $50,000 and/or two years imprisonment.




Proposed legislation expected to be completed and entered into force shortly.


Fish Quality and Inspection Act and Regulations:


Will cover seafood safety and quality assurance to ensure that Barbados comes up to international standards in relevant areas, particularly affecting public health and trade.




Fisheries (Fees) Regulations:


Setting out fees for registration, inspection, licences, tractor service and others performed by the Fisheries Division. As an incentive, the fees payable by members of fishing industry organisations are intended to be 33% of those to be paid by non-members.




Fisheries Regulations:


Deal with almost everything else not specifically covered such as foreign fishing, safety at sea, scheduled forms, registration of fishing industry organisations, sportsfishing etc.




Aquaculture Regulations:


 Although perhaps initially included as a section in the Fisheries Regulations, will set out the requirements for aquaculture enterprises with emphasis on environmental management.




Fisheries related legislation


Linkages occur between legislation just as it does between the fisheries sector organisations. Several pieces of legislation not under the jurisdiction of the Minister responsible for fisheries or the Chief Fisheries Officer are relevant to the management of the fishing industry. Those listed below are only the most directly related. Other existing and planned environmental legislation will also influence fisheries.




Markets and Slaughterhouses Act (1958):


Registration of fish vendors, operation of fish markets, collection of fish tolls. This Act is expected to be replaced during the plan period.




Barbados Territorial Waters Act (1977):
Defines territorial and internal waters




Marine Boundaries and Jurisdiction Act (1978):
Defines waters of EEZ




Defense Act (1979):
Control and surveillance in the EEZ and territorial waters




Shipping Act (1994):
Registration and inspection of large vessels




Coastal Zone Management Act (1998):
Coastal resource management and planning




Marine Pollution Control Act (1998):
Prevention, reduction and control of marine pollution






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