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Second Regular Session of the 119th

S.P. 921 - L.D. 2372

An Act to Regulate the Sea Cucumber Fishery

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

     Whereas, the sea cucumber fishery is a new fishery; and

     Whereas, the fishery is being intensively harvested; and

     Whereas, there is inadequate scientific data to assess the impact of harvesting on the resource or the ecosystem; 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 c. 623, sub-c. IV, art. 2 is enacted to read:

Article 2

§6811. Sea cucumber harvesting season

     Unless modified by rules adopted under section 6171-A, it is unlawful for a person to fish for or take sea cucumbers from July 1st to September 30th, both days inclusive.

§6812. Sea cucumber drag

     1. Drag width. It is unlawful to utilize a drag to fish for or take sea cucumbers that exceeds 5 feet, 6 inches in width, measured from extreme outside edge to extreme outside edge.

     2. Configuration of drag. The commissioner shall adopt rules that describe the type of drag that may be used to fish for or take sea cucumbers, including, but not limited to, limitations on the type or size of drag components. Such rules are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A.

§6813. Sea Cucumber Management Fund

     1. Fund established. The Sea Cucumber Management Fund, referred to in this section as the "fund," is established as a dedicated, nonlapsing fund within the department. The commissioner may receive on behalf of the fund money from any source for the purposes described in subsection 2. All money received into the fund must be used for the purposes of the fund. Unexpended balances in the fund at the end of the fiscal year may not lapse but must be carried forward to the next fiscal year to be used for the purposes of the fund. Any interest earned on the money in the fund must be credited to the fund.

     2. Purposes of fund. The commissioner shall use the fund to research and manage the State's sea cucumber fishery and to enforce the laws related to sea cucumbers.

     Sec. 2. Legislation. The joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over marine resources matters may report out a bill regarding regulation of the sea cucumber fishery to the Second Regular Session of the 120th Legislature.

     Sec. 3. Rules. The Commissioner of Marine Resources shall adopt rules in accordance with the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 6812, subsection 2 no later than September 30, 2000.

     Sec. 4. Allocation. The following funds are allocated from Other Special Revenue funds to carry out the purposes of this Act.


Division of Administrative Services

Provides for the allocation of funds for the Sea Cucumber Management Fund to research and manage the State's sea cucumber fishery and to enforce the laws related to sea cucumbers.

     Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this Act takes effect on April 1, 2000.

Effective April 1, 2000.

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