LD 1549
Session - 126th Maine Legislature
LR 2139
Item 1
Bill Tracking, Additional Documents Chamber Status

An Act To Provide an Exemption for Incidentally Caught Lobsters

Emergency preamble. Whereas,  acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas,  under current law a lobster caught as by-catch by a commercial fisherman must be released immediately; and

Whereas,  allowing those incidentally caught lobsters to be sold outside of Maine can help sustain the commercial fishing industry; and

Whereas,  it is important to provide financial assistance to Maine's commercial fishing industry as soon as possible; and

Whereas,  in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6501, sub-§2,  as amended by PL 2001, c. 421, Pt. B, §25 and affected by Pt. C, §1, is further amended to read:

2. Licensed activity.   The holder of a commercial fishing license may fish for or take fish or possess, ship, transport or sell fish that the holder has taken or take, possess or sell lobsters pursuant to section 6952-A, subsection 3, paragraph C. The license authorizes crew members aboard the licensee's boat when it is engaged in commercial fishing to undertake these activities, if the license provides for crew members.

Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6952-A, sub-§3,  as amended by PL 2011, c. 266, Pt. A, §22, is further amended to read:

3. Exceptions; boats.   This section does not apply to:
A. A boat rigged for dragging, trawling, dredging or seining if all nets, drags and dredges are removed from the boat; or
B. A boat rigged for netting if there are no finfish taken by gill net aboard . ; or
C A boat participating in the federal northeast multispecies fishery under 50 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 648 (2012) or successor regulations if all fishing activity during the trip has occurred in the federal lobster management area Area 2/3 Overlap or EEZ Offshore Management Area 3 delineated under 50 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 697 (2012). A lobster taken under this paragraph may not be first sold in this State.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.


This bill allows the holder of a commercial fishing license while on a boat participating in the federal northeast multispecies fishery fishing exclusively in specific lobster management areas delineated under federal regulation to take, possess or sell lobsters but prohibits the first sale of those lobsters in Maine.

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