*** ----> Bahrain Shura approves amendments to small vessel safety law | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain Shura approves amendments to small vessel safety law

TDT | Manama         

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

The Shura Council approved on its session yesterday Decree Law No. 15 of 2023, which amends some provisions of Decree Law No. 32 of 2020 concerning registration, safety and monitoring rules for small vessels.

The approval came after the Public Utilities and Environment Committee discussed a report on the amendments. The Committee rapporteur Redah Ebrahim Monfaredi affirmed the decree aims to unify provisions related to small vessel maritime navigation in accordance with existing maritime law.

He further added: “It also seeks to reduce incidents resulting from lack of regulatory oversight and ineffective penalties. He noted the decree law provides urgent legislative intervention by establishing effective oversight mechanisms for all maritime activities.”

He pointed out that it also expands the authorities of Coast Guard Command under the Interior Ministry and implements comprehensive licensing and navigation regulations while imposing deterrent penalties to uphold security and safety.

The changes are expected to standardise the sector and enhance regulatory enforcement to protect lives and property at sea in line with international standards. The new decree has now been sent to the Speaker of the Parliament to notify the government about it.

Moreover, the Shura Council also discussed proposed amendments to the fisheries law. The amendments aim to increase fish production, encourage fish farms and provide support to fishermen.

Legislative gaps

They also seek to address legislative gaps regarding when Bahraini fishing vessels can enter restricted waters in emergencies. The proposals prohibit leasing of fishing licenses and foreign vessels fishing in Bahraini waters. The rules would allow transferring a fishing license to a deceased license holder’s wife and minor children if fishing is their sole income, on condition it is used by a Bahraini fisherman.

The amendments also permit anchoring in restricted areas during weather, security or vessel emergencies, or for rescue operations. The Shura Council approved allowing consideration of the bill and referred it to the government to draft it as new legislation. This aims to further regulate the fisheries sector and boost productivity in line with Saudi vision.