THE NORTH AMERICAN FISHERIES ACT, 1819.
59 Geo. III., Cap. 38 (Imperial).
An Act to enable His Majesty to make Regulations with respect to the taking and curing Fish on certain Parts of the Coasts of Newfoundland, Labrador, and His Majesty's other Possessions in North America, according to a Convention made between His Majesty and the United States of America.
Whereas a Convention between His Majesty and the United States of America, was made and signed at London, on the Twentieth Day of October One thousand eight hundred and eighteen; and by the First Article of the said Convention, reciting that Differences had arisen respecting the Liberty claimed by the United States for the Inhabitants thereof to take, dry, and cure Fish in certain Coasts, Bays, Harbours, and Creeks of His Britannic Majesty's Dominions in America, it is agreed, that the Inhabitants of the said United States shall have for ever, in common with the Subjects of His Britannic Majesty, the Liberty to take Fish of every Kind on that Part of the Southern Coast of Newfoundland which extends from Cape Ray to the Rameau Islands, on the Western and Northern Coasts of Newfoundland from the said Cape Ray to the Quirpon Islands, on the Shores of the Magdalen Islands, and also on the Coasts, Bays, Harbours, and Creeks from Mount Joly on the Southern Coasts of Labrador, to and through the Straits of Belleisle, and thence northwardly indefinitely along the Coast, without Prejudice however to any of the exclusive Rights of the Hudson's Bay Company; and it was also by the said Article of the said Convention agreed, that the American Fishermen should have Liberty for ever to dry and cure Fish in any of the unsettled Bays, Harbours, and Creeks of the Southern Part of the Coast of Newfoundland above described, and of the Coast of Labrador, but that so soon as the same, or any Portion thereof, should be settled, it should not be lawful for the said Fishermen to dry or cure Fish at such Portion so settled, without previous Agreement for such Purpose with the Inhabitants, Proprietors, or Possessors of the Ground: And whereas it is expedient that His Majesty should be enabled to carry into Execution so much of the said Convention as is above recited, and to make Regulations for that Purpose; be it therefore 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,
That from and after the passing of this Act, it shall and may be lawful for His Majesty, by and with the Advice of His Majesty's Privy Council, by any Order or Orders in Council to be from Time to Time made for that Purpose, to make such Regulations, and to give such Directions, Orders, and Instructions to the Governor of Newfoundland, or to any Officer or Officers on that Station, or to any other Person or Persons whomsoever, as shall or may be from Time to Time deemed proper and necessary for the carrying into Effect the Purposes of the said Convention, with relation to the taking, drying, and curing of Fish by Inhabitants of the United States of America, in common with British Subjects, within the Limits set forth in the said Article of the said Convention, and hereinbefore recited; any Act or Acts of Parliament, or any Law, Custom, or Usage to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.
II. And be it further enacted, That from and after the passing of this Act it shall not be lawful for any Person or Persons, not being a natural-born Subject of His Majesty, in any Foreign Ship Vessel, or Boat, nor for any Person in any Ship, Vessel, or Boat, other than such as shall be navigated according to the Laws of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to fish for, or to take, dry, or cure any Fish of any Kind whatever, within Three Marine Miles of any Coasts, Bays, Creeks, or Harbours whatever, in any part of His Majesty's Dominions in America, not included within the Limits specified and described in the First Article of the said Convention, and hereinbefore recited; and that if any such Foreign Ship, Vessel, or Boat or any Persons on board thereof, shall be found fishing, or to have been fishing, or preparing to fish within such Distance of such Coasts, Bays, Creeks, or Harbours, within such Parts of His Majesty's Dominions in America out of the said Limits as aforesaid, all such Ships, Vessels, and Boats, together with their Cargoes, And all Guns, Ammunition, Tackle, Apparel, Furniture, and Stores, shall be forfeited, and shall and may be seized, taken, sued for, prosecuted, recovered, and condemned by such and the like Ways, Means, and Methods, and in the same Courts, as Ships, Vessels, or Boats may be forfeited, seized, prosecuted, and condemned for any Offence against any Laws relating to the Revenue of Customs, or the Laws of Trade and Navigation, under any Act or Acts of the Parliament of Great Britain, or of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, provided that nothing in this Act contained shall apply or be construed to apply to the Ships or Subjects of any Prince, Power, or State in Amity with His Majesty, who are entitled by Treaty with His Majesty to any Privilege of taking, drying, or curing Fish on the Coasts, Bays, Creeks, or Harbours, or within the Limits in this Act described.
III. Provided always, and be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for any Fisherman of the said United States to enter into any such Bays or Harbours of his Britannic Majesty's Dominions in America as are last mentioned, for the Purpose of Shelter and repairing Damages therein, and of purchasing Wood and of obtaining Water, and for no other Purpose whatever; subject nevertheless to such Restrictions as may be necessary to
prevent such Fishermen of the said United States from taking, drying, or curing Fish in the said Bays or Harbours, or in any other Manner whatever abusing the said Privileges by the said Treaty and this Act reserved to them, and as shall for that Purpose be imposed by any Order or Orders to be from Time to Time made by His Majesty in Council under the Authority of this Act, and by any Regulations which shall be issued by the Governor or Person exercising the Office of Governor in any such Parts of His Majesty's Dominions in America, under or in pursuance of any such Order in Council as aforesaid.
IV. And be it further enacted, That if any Person or Persons, upon Requisition made by the Governor of Newfoundland or the Person exercising the Office of Governor, or by any Governor, or Person exercising the Office of Governor, in any other Parts of His Majesty's Dominions in America as aforesaid, or by any Officer or Officers acting under such Governor, or Person exercising the Office of Governor, in the Execution of any Orders or Instructions from His Majesty in Council, shall refuse to depart from such Bays or Harbours; or if any person or Persons shall refuse or neglect to conform to any Regulations or Directions which shall be made or given for the Execution of any of the Purposes of this Act; every such person so refusing or otherwise offending against this Act shall forfeit the Sum of Two hundred Pounds, to be recovered in the Superior Court of Judicature of the Island of Newfoundland, or in the Superior Court of Judicature of the Colony or Settlement within or near to which such Offence shall be committed, or by Bill, Plaint, or information in any of His Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster; One Moiety of such Penalty to belong to His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, and the other Moiety to such Person or Persons as shall sue or prosecute for the same: Provided always, that any such Suit or Prosecution, if the same be committed in Newfoundland, or in any other Colony or Settlement, shall be commenced within Three Calendar Months; and, if commenced in any of His Majesty's Courts at Westminster, within Twelve Calendar Months from the Time of the Commission of such Offence.