Public Laws

123rd Legislature

Second Regular Session

Chapter 494

S.P. 800 - L.D. 2006

An Act To Give Municipalities Control of Mussels Located in Intertidal Zones

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

Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6671, sub-§3, ¶A,  as enacted by PL 2001, c. 188, §2, is amended to read:

A.  Within any area of the municipality, a shellfish conservation ordinance may:

(1) Regulate or prohibit the possession of shellfish;

(2) Fix the amount of shellfish that may be taken;

(3) Provide for protection from shellfish predators; and

(4) Authorize the municipal officials to open and close flats under specified conditions . ; and

(5) Specify areas of the intertidal zone in which the dragging of mussels may be limited to the degree necessary to support a municipal shellfish conservation program.

Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6671, sub-§12  is enacted to read:

12 Intertidal mussel harvesting.   With the advice of the municipality, the commissioner may issue a permit to an individual licensed pursuant to section 6746 that authorizes the permit holder to fish for and take mussels from an area designated by the municipality pursuant to subsection 3. The commissioner shall limit the number of permits issued for a designated area to that number the commissioner determines is necessary to achieve the goals of the municipality's shellfish conservation program. The permit may specify limits on the amount of mussels taken, when the mussels may be taken and gear usage and any other conditions necessary for consistency with the shellfish conservation program.

Sec. 3. 12 MRSA §6746, sub-§2,  as amended by PL 2005, c. 434, §10, is further amended to read:

2. Licensed activity.   A boat license under this section may be used for dragging for mussels. The holder of a mussel boat license may also possess or transport mussels within the state limits or sell mussels the holder has taken to a wholesale seafood license holder certified under section 6856. The license also authorizes the captain and crew members aboard the licensed boat when engaged in dragging for mussels to undertake these activities. A mussel boat license does not authorize the holder to fish for or take mussels in violation of a municipal ordinance adopted pursuant to section 6671.

Effective June 30, 2008

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333