[From Birds of the IoM, 1905]



An Act to Prevent the Destruction of Sea-Gulls.

WHEREAS during several years past the birds commonly designated gulls or sea-gulls, which formerly abounded on the coasts of this Island, have become very scarce by reason of the extensive destruction of them by persons seeking their plumage: And whereas it appears, by evidence taken before a Committee of the Tynwald Court, that the said birds are considered of great importance to persons engaged in the herring fishing, inasmuch as they indicate the localities where bodies of fish may be: And also that they are of much use for sanitary purposes, by reason that they remove the offal of fish from the harbours and shores: And it is deemed advisable to prevent the destruction of the said birds. We, therefore, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Lieutenant-Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys of the said Isle, do humbly beseech your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it enacted, by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lieut.-Governor, Council, Deemsters, and Keys, in Tynwald assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows (that is to say) :-

1. This Act may be cited for all purposes as ` The Sea-Gull Preservation Act, 1867.'

2. In the construction of this Act the word 'Gull' shall include the black-headed gull, the common gull or seamew, the herring gull, the kittiwake, skua gull, and every other species of gull or sea-gull, by whatever name it may be distinguished; and shall also include the gannet or solan goose, the shag 1 and the guilimot,2 and it shall be sufficient in a prosecution under this Act to prove with respect to the nature of the bird, that it is commonly known in this Island by any of the foregoing designations.

3. Any person who within this Island or within the jurisdiction of the Admiralty Court 3 of this Island, shall wilfully kill or destroy any gull, or shall take from the nest an egg of any gull, or shall wilfully break, spoil, or destroy an egg of any gull in the nest, shall for each offence forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding five pounds.

4. Any person who shall have in his possession any dead gull, or any undressed plumage having the appearance of being recently stripped from any gull, or an egg of any gull, shall be deemed to have killed or taken such gull or egg as aforesaid, unless he shall prove the contrary.

5. Every penalty or forfeiture payable under this Act shall be proceeded for and recoverable as in the case of summary proceedings taken under the Petty Sessions Act, 1864,4 and at the suit or instance of any harbour-master, constable, or any other person, before a High Bailiff or a Justice of the Peace, anything in the said Act to the contrary notwithstanding.

6. One moiety of every penalty recovered under this Act shall be paid to the informer. Provided always, that it shall be lawful for the Governor, in his discretion, to remit, mitigate, or suspend the payment of such penalty.

Royal Assent dated 29th February 1868. Promulgated 6th July 1868.

*[The numbered notes to these Acts are those of the editor of the official volumes of the Manx Statutes.]

1 Repealed as to the 'shag or cormorant' by the Salmon and Fresh Water Fishery Act, 1882, sec. 48.

2 Sic

3 See the Isle of Man Judicature Act, by which jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty is transferred to Her Majesty's High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man.

4 See the Petty Sessions Act, 1864


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