Fisheries offences

Options available to fisheries offences we regulate

Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967

Section 3(3)

Dredge, fish or take shellfish of any description unless in accordance with the terms of a licence issued by the NRW.

Summary only offence. Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Section 4(7) of the Sea Fisheries (Shellfish) Act 1967 gives NRW the power to cancel a licence upon conviction of an offence of contravening a restriction imposed by the relevant Order upon Ministerial consent.

Theft Act 1968

Schedule 1, Section 2

A person who unlawfully takes or destroys, or attempts to take or destroy, any fish in water which is private property or in which there is any private right of fishery

Summary only offence. Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975

Sections 1, 37 & Schedule 4

Fishing with certain instruments for salmon, trout or freshwater fish and possessing certain instruments for fishing for such fish.

Summary only offence. Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Section 2(1)

Use for fishing, buying, selling or having in possession any fish roe.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Other considerations and notices specific to this offence:

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 2(2)

Knowingly takes, kills, injures or attempts to take, kill or injure any salmon,
trout, lamprey, smelt, shad, freshwater fish or specified fish in any waters
which is unclean or immature; or
Buys, sells, exposes for sale, or has in possession any such fish or any part, which is unclean or immature.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 2(4)

Wilfully disturbing spawn, spawning fish or spawning areas.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Offered:

Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 4(1)

Discharging matter or effluent that is poisonous or injurious to fish, spawn,
spawning areas or food of fish.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Sections 5(1), 37 & Schedule 4

Using explosives, poisons, noxious substances or electrical devices to take or destroy fish.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Sections 5(3), 37 & Schedule 4

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution​​

Section 5(4)

Person who contravenes Section 5(1) or Section 5(3) and having in his
possession any explosive/noxious substance or any electrical device.​

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

​Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 9(2)

Failure to comply with a notice to make a fish pass or to maintain an approved fish pass n an efficient state.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

​Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 12(1)

Altering, obstructing, making less efficient or scaring or preventing fish using a pass, all in respect to salmon or sea trout.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

​Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 12(3)

Acting to prevent salmon or sea trout moving through a fish pass or free gap or attempting to take such fish in passage through a fish pass.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 13(2)

Failure to close sluices affecting water flow over dams or through fish passes at relevant times in waters frequented by salmon and sea trout.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Section 14(8)

Failure to place or maintain a screen or provide a by-wash in specified
circumstances.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 15(2)

Interfering with a screen placed by NRW.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Restoration Notice
  • Variable Monetary Penalty
  • Stop Notice

Offered:

  • Enforcement Undertaking

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 18(1)

Obstructing an authorised person in constructing or altering a fish pass or free gap or installing a screen (under Sections 9, 10 or 15).

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Sections 27, 37 & Schedule 4

Fishing for fish by licensable means of fishing otherwise than under the authority of a licence and possessing an unlicensed licensable instrument with intent to use it for fishing.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Sections 27B, 37 & Schedule 4

Unauthorised fishing etc.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Section 31(2)

Refusing or obstructing authorised entry, search, examination or seizure by a bailiff.

Summary only offence.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010 in Wales.

Section 35

  • Failing to produce a fishing licence or other authority to fish
  • Failure by a person fishing or about to fish or having fished to state their name and/or address when requested by an authorised person or giving a false name and/or address.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Import of Live Fish (England and Wales) Act 1980

Section 3(1)(a)

Introduction or keeping or release of non-native live fish without a licence.

Summary only offence. Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Section 3(1)(b)

Failure to comply with licence conditions.

Summary only offence. Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Section 3(1)(c)

Obstruction.

Summary only offence. Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Salmon Act 1986

Section 32

Receiving, retaining, removing or disposing of any fish in respect to which it is reasonable to suspect an offence (relating to taking or selling) has been
committed.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil Sanctions which can be imposed:

  • Variable Monetary Penalty

Civil sanctions are only available for offences which occurred after 15 July 2010.

The Eel (England and Wales) Regulations 2009

Regulation 3(3)

Failure to complete and submit an eel catch return.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 4(3)

Failure to complete and submit eel consignment records.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 5(2)

Failure to record and certificate imports of eel.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 6(3)

Failure to record and certificate exports of eel.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 7(3)

Receiving eels without appropriate certificates including as provided by regulations 5 and 6.

Failure by consignee to retain certificates for minimum 12 month period or to allow inspection of certificates.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 8(4)

Failure to comply with a notice to place young eels on the market for restocking.

Failure by someone purchasing young eels subject to a notice within 6 months to declare that those eels are to be restocked to an eel river basin.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 8(5)

Failure to restock having made a declaration.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 10(1)

Fishing for eels by instruments other than rod and line during the close season.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 12(4)

Failure to notify the NRW of intention to construct, alter or maintain a dam or structure.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 13(2)

Failure to notify the NRW of an obstruction.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 14(5)

Failure to comply with a notice, requiring an owner to build, alter, operate an eel pass or remove an obstruction or undertake other relevant action.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 15(2)

Failure to maintain and repair eel passes.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 16(2)

Damaging, interfering with, obstructing or impeding passage of eel through an eel pass.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 17(6)

Failure to comply with a notice requiring an owner to place or alter an eel screen.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 18(3)

Failure to comply with the need to provide a by-wash.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 19(3)

Failure to ensure a screen or by-wash does not interfere with statutory navigation rights, is maintained and is constructed so as not to damage eels; and damaging, or interfering with an eels screen or passage of eels through a by-wash.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 27

Obstruction of an authorised person executing these regulations, failure to give assistance or information or the giving of false or misleading information.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Keeping and Introduction of Fish (Wales) Regulations 2014

Regulation 4(a)

Introduces fish into inland waters, otherwise than under and in accordance with a permit granted under Regulation 6

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 4(b)

Possesses fish for the purpose of introducing any of those fish into inland waters, other than under and in accordance with the terms of a relevant permit

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

Warning
Formal Caution
Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 4(c)

Causes or allows any other person to introduce fish into inland waters, other than under and in accordance with the terms of a relevant permit.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 5

Keeping in inland waters any fish of a kind to which this Regulation applies, otherwise than under and in accordance with a permit granted under Regulation 6

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence

Regulation 8(5)

Failure to comply with a notice served under Regulation 8(1) without reasonable excuse.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 13(a)

Intentional obstruction of an officer.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence

Regulation 13(b)

Failing to give assistance or information to an officer, without reasonable cause.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 13(c)

Furnishing information to an officer knowing it to be false or misleading.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 13(d)

Failing to produce a record when required to do so by an officer.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 15

Criminal liability of directors, managers, secretaries or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, in relation to offences that their company (body corporate) is guilty of and which are proved to have been committed with the consent, connivance or attributable to their neglect.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence.

Regulation 16

Offences by partnerships and unincorporated associations under these Regulations.

Standard criminal and offence specific responses are:

  • Warning
  • Formal Caution
  • Prosecution

Civil sanctions are not available for this offence