An Act To Improve Enforcement Mechanisms to the Elver Industry and To Make Technical Changes to Maine's Marine Resources Laws
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6074, sub-§1, as amended by PL 1999, c. 156, §§2 and 3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6078-A, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 240, §15, is further amended to read:
Sec. 3. 12 MRSA §6140-B, sub-§4, ¶C, as enacted by PL 2007, c. 240, Pt. QQ, §9, is amended to read:
Sec. 4. 12 MRSA §6505-A, sub-§5-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 12 MRSA §6505-A, sub-§8, as repealed and replaced by PL 2011, c. 549, §5, is amended to read:
A court may not suspend any portion of a fine imposed under this subsection.
Sec. 6. 12 MRSA §6505-B, sub-§6, as amended by PL 2011, c. 549, §6, is further amended to read:
Sec. 7. 12 MRSA §6575-A, as amended by PL 2011, c. 549, §7, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§ 6575-A. Closed period; elver harvesting
Sec. 8. 12 MRSA §6575-C, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2003, c. 452, Pt. F, §13 and affected by Pt. X, §2, is repealed.
Sec. 9. 12 MRSA §6575-C, sub-§8 is enacted to read:
Sec. 10. 12 MRSA §6575-D, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2011, c. 549, §8, is further amended to read:
Sec. 11. 12 MRSA §6575-E, as amended by PL 2001, c. 272, §13, is further amended to read:
§ 6575-E. Method of eel fishing
Except as provided in section 6505-C, subsection 2, it is unlawful for a person licensed under section 6505-C to fish for or take eels by any method other than eel pot or hoop net.
Sec. 12. 12 MRSA §§6575-G to 6575-I are enacted to read:
§ 6575-G. Dams with fishways; elver fishing
§ 6575-H. Assisting in illegal harvest of elvers
§ 6575-I. Seizure of illegally harvested elvers
In addition to any other penalty imposed, elvers bought or possessed that were taken in violation of any law or rule pertaining to elvers are subject to seizure. The entire bulk pile containing illegally harvested elvers may be seized.
Sec. 13. 12 MRSA §6671, sub-§8, ¶B, as amended by PL 2001, c. 188, §8, is further amended to read:
Sec. 14. 12 MRSA §6752, as enacted by PL 1977, c. 661, §5, is amended to read:
§ 6752. Exception for personal use
Any person may take or possess not more than 125 25 marine worms in any one day for personal use without a marine worm digger's license or a marine worm dealer's license.
Sec. 15. 12 MRSA §6804, sub-§5, as amended by PL 2003, c. 248, §10, is further amended to read:
Sec. 16. 12 MRSA §6864, first ¶, as amended by PL 2011, c. 549, §9, is further amended to read:
A holder of an elver dealer's license when buying directly from a harvester may buy only from a harvester who possesses an elver fishing license under section 6505-A. The harvester shall make the elver fishing license and a government-issued identification card with a photograph and the date of birth of the harvester available for inspection upon the elver dealer's license holder’s request.
This bill makes technical changes in laws regarding marine resources to improve enforcement mechanisms for the elver industry. Among the changes are authorizing the seizure of a bulk pile that contains illegally harvested elvers and prohibiting the possession of elvers outside of the open season. The bill also changes the law to restrict courts from suspending all or a portion of fines for elver violations. It reduces the daily number of marine worms harvestable for personal use, and it restricts the allowable landings of northern shrimp for personal use to one tote.
The bill also specifies size limits on scallop spat collected and sold for placement on a lease site, it expands the sources of funds available to an aquaculture fund and it clarifies that Atlantic salmon raised for restoration purposes are not exempt from certain fishing prohibitions.