An Act To Improve Productivity in Authorized Municipal Shellfish Conservation Areas with Predation Protection Measures in Place
Sec. 1. 12 MRSA §6671, sub-§3, as amended by PL 2007, c. 494, §1, is further amended to read:
(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;
(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 . ; and
(6) In accordance with paragraph D, designate shellfish conservation areas where harvesting any marine organism is prohibited.
Sec. 2. 12 MRSA §6671, sub-§10, ¶A, as amended by PL 2005, c. 171, §2, is further amended to read:
(1) For the first offense by a commercial license holder, a fine of not less than $300;
(2) For subsequent offenses by a commercial license holder, a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,500;
(3) For the first offense by a recreational license holder, a fine of not less than $100; and
(4) For subsequent offenses by a recreational license holder, a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $500; or and
(5) For an offense by a person who does not hold a municipal shellfish license, a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,500; or
This bill allows a municipality to designate in its municipal shellfish conservation ordinance conservation areas that surround protective netting, fencing, traps or other gear placed by the municipality in the intertidal zone where harvesting any marine organism is prohibited. The designated conservation area must be clearly marked with signs that identify the municipality that designated the area and indicate the purpose of the designated area. Current law imposes certain fines upon municipal shellfish license holders who harvest shellfish from an area closed for conservation purposes. This bill amends that provision to impose certain fines on municipal shellfish license holders and nonlicense holders who harvest any marine organism from an area closed pursuant to a municipal shellfish conservation ordinance.