Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ACT

Arrangement of Sections

1. Short title.

PART I

Administration

2. Appointment of Director-General and other officers.

3. Establishment of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Advisory Council.

4. Functions and responsibilities of the Council.

5. Fisheries management and development plan.

PART II

Licensing of Fishing Operations
in Sri Lanka Waters

6. Licensing of fishing operations.

7. Application for a licence.

8. Form and direction of the receipt.

9. Reserved of licence.

10. Cancellation of licensed.

11. Director to communicate decision to applicant together with reasons.

12. Appeals.

13. Granter of licensee.

13A. Furnishing of particulars of licences

14. Provisions of this Part not to apply to foreign fishing boat.

PART II A

LICENSING OF FISHING OPERATIONS
IN THE HIGH SEAS

14A. Licensing of fishing operations in the high seas.

14B. Application for a licence.

14C. Form and duration of licence.

14D. Register of licences.

14E. Licence to be carried on board.

14F. Prohibition on fishing in foreign waters.

14G. Licensee to comply with conservation and management measures.

14H. Renewal of licence.

14I. Suspension of a licence.

14J. Cancellation of a licence.

14K. Director-General to communicate the decision together with reasons.

14L. Appeals.

14M. Transfer of licences.

14N. Educational programmes for fishers.

PART III

Registration of Local Fishing Boats

15. Registration of local fishing boat.

16. Change of possession to possession to be reported to the Director.

16A. Cancellation or suspension of registration of fishing boats and the licence for fishing operations.

16B. Cancellation on information by owner.

17. Registration of instruments mortgage.

18. Priority of Instruments of mortgage.

19. Registered mortgage of local fishing boat to subsist.

20. Entry of discharge of mortgage.

21. Mortgage not effected by bankruptcy.

22. Transfer of mortgages and registration.

23. Transmission of interest mortgage on bankruptcy.

24. Searches and copies.

25. Evidence.

26. Other written not to apply.

PART IV

Protection of Fish and other Aquatic Resources

27. Prohibition against the use or possession of poisonous or explosive substances.

28. Prohibited fishing gear water engage method.

29. Catching and possession of prohibited fish.

29A. Presumption.

30. Prohibition or regulation of export and import of fishing.

31. Fisheries Management Areas.

31A. Fisheries Management Coordinating Committee.

31B. Fisheries Development and Management Plans.

32. Fisheries Committees.

33. Register of fishermen.

34. Minister to declare closed or open season for fishing.

35. Use of fishing boats for research or scientific purposes.

PART V

Conservation

36. Declaration of fisheries reserves.

37. Acts prohibited in fisheries reserves.

PART VI

Aquaculture

38. Leasing of State lands.

39. Licensing of aquaculture operations.

40. Appointment of Licensing Officers.

41. Application for licence and the processing of such application.

42. Form and duration of a licence.

43. Renewal of a licence.

43A. Suspension of a licence.

43B. Cancellation of a licence.

43C. Reasons to be communicated.

43D. Appeals.

43E. Complaints against Licensing Officer.

43F. Crediting of fees collected to the Authority.

PART VIII

Settlement of Disputes

44. Settlement of fishing disputes.

45. Interim Orders in respect of fishing disputes.

45A. Aquaculture disputes.

46. Powers of authorised officers.

46A. Granting of bail.

47. Power of.

48. Authorised section.

PART IX

Offences and Penalties

49. Offences.

49A. Offences relating to aquaculture operations.

50. Offences by bodies of persons.

51. Forfeiture.

52. Compounding of offences.

52A. Magistrate’s Court to have jurisdiction notwithstanding the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act.

52B. Imposition of a penalty.

52C. Right of Appeal.

52D. Presumption.

52E. Appointment of panel of experts.

53. Release of detained boats.

54. Presumption as to the Institute of the.

55. —

56. —

57. Jurisdiction over offences committed at sea.

57A. Fifty per centum of fines imposed to be credited to the Authority.

PART X

General

58. Administration of provided council authorities.

58A. Licensing Officers required to produce proof of identification.

59. Reward Fund.

60. Imposition of cess on the import or fish of fish products.

61. Regulations.

62. Education of actions.

63. Repealed.

64. Savings.

65. Sinhala to prevail in case of inconsistency text.

66. Interpretation.

67. Application of this Acts.

2 of 1996,

4 of 2000,

4 of 2004,

22 of 2006,

35 of 2013,

2 of 2015,

2 of 2016.

AN ACT to provide for the management, regulation, conservation and development of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Sri Lanka; to give effect to Sri Lanka’s obligations under certain International and Regional Fisheries Agreements; to repeal the Fisheries Ordinance, the Chank Fisheries Act, the Pearl Fisheries Ordinance and the Whaling Ordinance; and to provide for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.

[Am by s 2 of Act 35 of 2013.]

[Date of Commencement: 11th January, 1996]

1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Act.

PART I

Administration

2. Appointment of Director-General and other officers.

(1) There shall be appointed—

(a) a person, by name or by office, to be or to act as the Director-General of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (hereinafter referred to as the “Director-General”);

(b) one or more persons, by name or office, to be or to act as Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources; and

(c) such other officers as may from time to time be required for the purposes of this Act.

[S 2(1) subs by s 2(1) of Act 4 of 2000.]

(2) The Director-General shall be responsible for the administration and giving effect to the provisions of this Act.

[S 2(2) subs by s 2(1) of Act 4 of 2000.]

(3) Any person appointed under subsection (1) to be or to act as a Director of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources may, subject to the control of the Director-General, exercise all or any of the powers conferred upon the Director-General by or under this Act.

[S 2(3) subs by s 2(1) of Act 4 of 2000.]

(4) All officers appointed under this section shall on deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Penal Code.

(5) All officers (not below the rank of Preventive Sergeant) appointed under this section shall be deemed to be peace officers within the meaning and for the purposes of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, No. 15 of 1979.

3. Establishment of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Advisory Council.

(1) There shall be a Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Advisory Council (hereinafter referred to as the “Council”) which shall consist of—

(a) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister appointed under Article 44 of the Constitution to whom the subject of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has been assigned, who shall be the Chairman of the Council;

(b) the Director-General;

[S 3(1)(b) subs by s 3(1) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(c) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister of the Board of Minsters of every province to whom the subject of fisheries has been assigned;

[S 3(1)(c) subs by s 3(1) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(d) the Chairman of the Council of the National Institute of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering, established under the National Institute of Fisheries and Nautical Engineering Act, No. 36 of 1999;

[S 3(1)(d) subs by s 3(1) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(e) the Director of Planning and Monitoring of the Ministry of Fisheries, who shall be the Secretary of the Council;

[S 3(1)(e) subs by s 3(1) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(f) the Chairman of the National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency;

(g) the Chairman of the Ceylon Fisheries Corporation established under the State Industrial Corporations Act;

(h) the Chairman of the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation established under the State Industrial Corporations Act;

(i) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Environment is assigned, or his nominee;

[S 3(1)(i) subs by s 3(2) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(j) the Director-General of the Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Department, established under Coast Conservation and Coastal Resource Management Act, No. 57 of 1981;

[S 3(1)(j) subs by s 3(2) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(ja) the Chairman of the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka established under the National Aquaculture Development Authority of Sri Lanka Act, No. 53 of 1998;

[S 3(1)(ja) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jb) the Director-General (Technical) of the Ministry of Fisheries;

[S 3(1)(jb) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jc) the Director-General of the Department of Coast Guard, established under the Department of Coast Guard Act, No. 41 of 2009;

[S 3(1)(jc) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jd) the Conservator-General of Forests, appointed under the Forest Conservation Ordinance (Chapter 451);

[S 3(1)(jd) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(je) the Commissioner-General of Agrarian Development, appointed under the Agrarian Development Act, No. 46 of 2000;

[S 3(1)(je) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jf) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Irrigation has been assigned, or his nominee;

[S 3(1)(jf) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jg) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Wild Life Conservation has been assigned, or his nominee;

[S 3(1)(jg) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jh) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of River Basins has been assigned, or his nominee;

[S 3(1)(jh) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(ji) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Land has been assigned, or his nominee;

[S 3(1)(ji) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jj) the Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister to whom the subject of Tourism has been assigned, or his nominee;

[S 3(1)(jj) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jk) the President of the All Ceylon Madel Owners Fisheries Co-operative Society Limited, registered under the Co-operative Societies Law, No. 5 of 1972;

[S 3(1)(jk) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jl) the Chairman of National Fisheries Federation;

[S 3(1)(jl) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jm) two persons engaged in fishing, nominated by the National Fisheries Federation of Fisheries Organizations;

[S 3(1)(jm) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(jn) two persons engaged in fishing nominated by the Multi Day Fishing Boat Owners Association;”.

[S 3(1)(jn) ins by s 3(3) of Act 35 of 2013.]

(k) the Chairman of the Sri Lanka National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Societies Ltd;

(l) two persons engaged in fishing nominated by the Sri Lanka National Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Societies Ltd.;

(m) the President of the Fishery Products Exporters Association;

(n) the Chairman of the Association of Live Ornamental Fish Exporters of Sri Lanka;

(o) two representatives of women engaged in fishing;

(p) six other members appointed by the Minister hereinafter referred to as “appointed members” from among persons who shall have special knowledge and experience in matters relating to the fisheries industry or other scientific disciplines.

(2) The Council may invite such other persons as it may think fit to attend its meetings as observers.

(3) A person shall be disqualified from being appointed or continuing as an appointed member of the Council—

(a) if he is, or becomes, a Member of Parliament; or

(b) if he is not, or ceases to be, a citizen of Sri Lanka.

(4) Every appointed member of the Council shall, unless he vacates office earlier or is removed from office by the Minister under subsection (5), hold office for a period of three years and shall be eligible for reappointment.

(5) The Minister may remove from office any appointed member of the Council without assigning any reason therefor.

(6) In the event of the vacation of office of any appointed member, or his removal from office under the provisions of subsection (5), the Minister shall appoint another person to hold such office for the unexpired period of the term of office of his predecessor.

(7) If any appointed member is temporarily unable to discharge the duties of his office due to ill-health or absence from Sri Lanka or for any other cause, the Minister shall appoint some other person to act in his place.

(8) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council shall make rules regulating the procedure in regard to its meetings and the transaction of business at such meetings.

(9) No act or proceeding of the Council shall be invalid by reason only of the existence of a vacancy in the Council, or any defect in the appointment of a member of the Council.

4. Functions and responsibilities of the Council.

Subject to the provisions of this Act, the functions and responsibilities of the Council shall be—

(a) to advise the Minister on all matters relating to the management, regulation, conservation and development of fisheries and aquatic resources in Sri Lanka waters;

(b) to consider, and advise the Minister on, such other matters as the Minister may refer to the Council for advice; and

(c) to advise the Director on all such matters relating to the administration of this Act, as he may refer to the Council for advice.

5. Fisheries management and development plan.

The Secretary to the Ministry of the Minister shall, in consultation with the Council, cause to be prepared from time to time a plan for the management, regulation, conservation and development of in fisheries and aquatic resources in Sri Lanka.

PART II

Licensing of Fishing Operations
in Sri Lanka Waters

[Subs by s 4 of Act 35 of 2013.]

6. Licensing of fishing operations.

(1) No person shall engage in, or cause any other person to engage in, any prescribed fishing operation in Sri Lanka Waters except under the authority, and otherwise than to accordance with the terms and conditions, of a licence issued by the Director.

(2) The Director may in writing delegate the power of issuing licences to a Licensing Officer appointed under this section and for this purpose there may be appointed one or more Licensing Officers for each Administrative District.

(3) No officer below the rank of Fisheries Inspector shall be appointed to be a Licensing Officer.

7. Application for a licence.

(1) Every application for a licence under section 6 shall be made in the prescribed form to the Licensing Officer of the Administrative District in which the fishing operation is to be carried out and shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee.

(2) If there is no Licensing Officer appointed for the Administrative District in which the proposed fishing operation is to be carried out such application may be made to the Director.

(3) On receipt of an application under subsection (1) or (2), the Licensing Officer or the Director as the case may be, shall either grant a licence or, for reasons to be recorded by him, refuse a licence.

8. Form and direction of the receipt.

Every licence granted under this Part shall—

(a) be in such form as may be prescribed;

(b) unless it is cancelled earlier, be in force for a period of one year from the date of grant of the licence;

(c) be subject to such terms and conditions as may be prescribed with regard to the fishing operation for which the licence is granted.

9. Reserved of licence.

(1) A licence granted under this Part shall be able on application made to the Licensing Officer of the Administrative District not less than thirty days before the expiry of the licence.

(2) If there is no Licensing Officer appointed for the Administrative District in which the fishing operation authorised by the licence is carried on the application for the renewal of the licence shall be made to the Director.

(3) The Licensing Officer or the Director, as the case may be, shall renew the licence if he is satisfied that—

(a) the licensee has observed the terms and condition of such licence;

(b) there is no threat to the sustainability of fish or other aquatic resources as a result of renewing the licence; and

(c) the licensee has paid the prescribed fee for the renewal of the licence.

10. Cancellation of licensed.

Director or the Licensing officer as the case may be shall cancel a licence granted by him under this Part if he is satisfied that the licensee;

(a) has contravened any of the provision of this Act, or any regulation made thereunder or any terms and condition of such licence; or

11. Director to communicate decision to applicant together with reasons.

(1) Where the Director or the Licensing Officer, as the ease may be, refuses to grant or renew a licence or cancels a licence he shall communicate such decision and the reasons therefor to the applicant or the licensee as the case may be, by registered post.

(2) Any such decision shall be deemed to have been communicated to an applicant or licensee as the case may he, after the expiry of a period of thirty days reckoned from the date of dispatch of such communication by registered post to the usual place of business or residence at such applicant or licensee, as the case may be.

12. Appeals.

(1) The applicant or the licensee, as the case may be, who is aggrieved by a decision communicated to him under section 11, may appeal against such decision to the Secretary of the Ministry of the Minister, in writing, within thirty days from the date on which the decision is communicated to him.

(2) The Secretary may either—

(a) allow the appeal and direct the Director or the Licensing Officer, as the case may be, to grant, renew, or revoke the cancellation of the licence; or

(b) disallow the appeal.

(3) The Director or the Licensing Officer, as the case may be, shall comply with any direction issued to him under subsection (2) by the Secretary.

(4) When an application for a licensor the renewal of a licence is refused under any of the preceding provisions of this Act, the Director or the Licensing Officer, as the case may be, shall refund to the applicant or the licensee, as the case may be, the fee accompanying such application,

(5) The decision of the Secretary under this section shall be final and conclusive.

13. Granter of licensee.

(1) No licence granted under this Part shall be transferable except with the sanction of the Director or the Licensing Officer as the case may be, granting the licence, and shall be endorsed upon such licence.

(2) No person whose licence has been cancelled under section 10 shall be entitled to have a licence transferred in his name.

13A. Furnishing of particulars of licences.

The Director shall furnish particulars of all licences granted, renewed, cancelled or transferred under the of licences provisions of this Part in respect of boats owned by persons residing in any province to the Secretary of the Ministry of the Minister of the Board of Ministers of that Province in charge of the subject of Fisheries.

14. Provisions of this Part not to apply to foreign fishing boat.

The provisions of this Part shall not apply to any foreign fishing boat used for fishing operations in Sri Lanka Waters under the provisions of the Regulation of Fishing Boats Act, No. 59 of 1979.

PART II A

LICENSING OF FISHING OPERATIONS
IN THE HIGH SEAS

[Part IIA ins by s 5 of Act 35 of 2013.]

14A. Licensing of fishing operations in the high seas.

No person shall engage in any prescribed fishing operations in the High Seas, except under the authority, and otherwise than in accordance with the terms and conditions, of a licence granted by the Director-General.

[S 14A ins by s 5 of Act 35 of 2013.]

14B. Application for a licence.

(1) Every application for a licence under section 14A shall be made in the prescribed form to the Director-General, and shall be accompanied by the declaration referred to in subsection (2) and the prescribed fee.

(2) —

(a) An application under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by a declaration, on oath, signed by the applicant stating whether he has, or has not, been issued with a licence or a permit by another State to fish in the High Seas.

(b) If the applicant declares that he has been issued with a licence or a permit by another State to fish in the High Seas, he shall also declare—

(i) the name of the State which has issued such licence or permit, and the date on which it was issued;

(ii) in case such licence or permit has been subsequently suspended, the date on which it was suspended, and the period for which it was suspended; and

(iii) in case such licence or permit has been subsequently cancelled, the date on which it was cancelled.

(3) On receipt of an application under subsection (1) the Director-General shall, subject to the provisions of subsection (4), either grant a licence or for reasons to be recorded by him, refuse to grant a licence.

(4) The Director-General shall refuse to grant a licence under subsection (3) if—

(a) the local fishing boat in respect of which the application has been made is not constructed in accordance with the specifications prescribed by regulations made under this Act;

(b) such boat is not registered under this Act;

(c) such boat is not marked in accordance with uniform and internationally recognizable vessel marking systems;

(d) the fishing gear carried on such boat is not marked in accordance with uniform and internationally recognizable gear marking systems enabling identification of the owner of the gear;

(e) such boat is not equipped with a vessel monitoring system and communication equipment, which enables the Director-General and his staff to communicate effectively with such boat and to exercise control over the activities of such boat;

(f) such boat is not equipped with the safety equipment prescribed by regulations made under this Act;

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