An Act Regarding Access to Lobster Licenses
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6448, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2013, c. 239, §3, is further amended to read:
4. Limited-entry zone as declared lobster zone. A person may not be issued a Class I, Class II or Class III lobster and crab fishing license that identifies a limited-entry zone as the declared lobster zone unless that person:
A. Held in the previous licensing year a Class I, Class II or Class III lobster and crab fishing license that identified that zone as the person's declared lobster zone; or
B. Is authorized as a new zone entrant by the commissioner pursuant to subsection 7-A to declare that zone as the person's declared lobster zone . ; or
C. Is authorized as a new zone entrant by the commissioner pursuant to subsection 7-B to declare that zone as the person's declared lobster zone.
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6448, sub-§7-B is enacted to read:
7-B. New zone entrants on the waiting list for 10 or more years. Notwithstanding subsection 7-A, each licensing year, the commissioner shall authorize new zone entrants for each limited-entry zone that have been on the waiting list pursuant to subsection 6 for 10 or more years and have met the eligibility requirements under section 6421, subsection 5. The commissioner shall notify the authorized new zone entrants by certified mail. A new zone entrant authorized under this subsection shall comply with the trap tag limits established in section 6431-F, subsection 2, paragraph A.
This bill directs the Commissioner of Marine Resources to authorize new zone entrants for a limited-entry lobster zone who have been on a waiting list for 10 or more years and have met certain eligibility requirements. A person authorized as a new zone entrant under this bill must adhere to specific trap tag limits.