'Force Majeure' is a common term which describes a situation where due to a circumstance beyond a person’s control that person cannot fulfil an obligation e.g. an obligation to comply with a regulatory requirement.The SFPA holds that there is no circumstance where an obligation to comply with a sea-fisheries regulation will ever be given precedence over the safety of a fishing vessel or its crew.
If in any circumstance the Master of a fishing vessel feels they are obliged to return to port for safety reasons he should do so without delay. As soon as is possible or upon entry into port the Master should advise the SFPA of his revised port entry time and await authorisation to commence the discharge of any onboard catch.
Code of Conduct for Fishing Vessel Inspections
The Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority is responsible for the efficient and effective enforcement of EU and National fisheries legislation. This work is done by Sea-Fisheries Protection Officers of the SFPA and on our behalf by members of the Naval Service at Sea.
The SFPA always endeavours to undertake these inspections in a fair and consistent manner with consideration towards the needs of fishermen. To this end a Code of Conduct for Fishing Vessel Inspections has been produced in order to outline to fishermen what procedures will normally take place during an inspection.