H.P. 1597 - L.D. 2226
An Act to Limit New Lobster and Crab Fishing Licenses
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6421-A is enacted to read:
§6421-A. Moratorium on new licenses
1. Moratorium. Notwithstanding section 6421, subsection 5, the commissioner may not issue a Class I, Class II or Class III lobster and crab fishing license to a person between the effective date of this section and December 31, 1999 unless that person:
A. Possessed a Class I, Class II or Class III lobster and crab fishing license in the previous calendar year;
B. Possessed an apprentice lobster and crab fishing license issued prior to February 13, 1998 and meets the requirements of the apprentice program under section 6422; or
C. Did not possess a Class I, Class II or Class III lobster and crab fishing license in the previous calendar year because the commissioner had suspended the person's license privileges for a length of time that included that previous calendar year.
2. Repeal. This section is repealed January 1, 2000.
Sec. 2. Report. The Lobster Advisory Council shall by January 1, 1999 submit to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over marine resources matters a report, including recommended legislation, regarding limited entry into lobster management zones created under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 6446. The council must examine methods to limit entry in individual lobster management zones for the purpose of conserving the lobster resource; assess the potential impact of those methods; and explore limitations on the use of lobster trap tags as a method to reduce fishing effort in the lobster fishery. In the course of its study, the council must, to the extent accurate information is available, compare the number of lobster licenses sold to the number of lobster license holders who harvest lobsters. Any recommendation for a system of limited entry must include a process under which a resident denied entry into the lobster fishery may appeal that denial to the Commissioner of Marine Resources. The council may also study any aspect of limited entry into the lobster fishery that is of interest to the council and the report may include recommended legislation. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over marine resources matters may report out legislation during the First Regular Session of the 119th Legislature regarding limited entry into the lobster fishery.
Effective July 9, 1998, unless otherwise indicated.
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