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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 13-0105
Marine fisheries conservation and management
Environmental Conservation (ENV) CHAPTER 43-B, ARTICLE 13, TITLE 1
§ 13-0105. Marine fisheries conservation and management.

1. (a) It is the policy of the state that the primary principle in
managing the state's marine fishery resource is to maintain the
long-term health and abundance of marine fisheries resources and their
habitats, and to ensure that the resources are sustained in usable
abundance and diversity for future generations. Utilization and
allocation of available resources will be administered consistent with
the restoration and maintenance of healthy stocks and habitats. The
state shall actively manage its marine fisheries and shall endeavor to:
protect and conserve habitats; restore habitats in areas where they have
been degraded; and maintain water quality at a level that will foster
occurrence and abundance of marine resources. The state shall optimize
the benefits of resource use so as to provide valuable recreational
experiences and viable business opportunities for commercial and
recreational fisheries.

(b) The marine fisheries conservation and management policy shall be
carried out through achievement of the following objectives:

(1) the state shall strive to obtain the best possible scientific
information through research and monitoring of the resources;

(2) the state shall use the best available scientific information in
managing the resources;

(3) the state recognizes that an informed public is integral to the
management system and shall inform and involve constituents in
management decisions;

(4) the management of the state's transboundary and migratory species
shall be consistent with any interjurisdictional management plans,
interstate or state-federal;

(5) in the event that fishery conservation and management require
actions that result in resource allocation impacts, the state shall
endeavor to assure such allocation impacts are distributed equitably
among user groups, giving priority to existing fisheries within the

(6) the state shall minimize waste and reduce discard mortality of
marine fishery resources;

(7) the state shall investigate and encourage the development of
aquaculture of economically important species, both to relieve pressure
on and enhance wild stocks and to provide economic opportunity;

(8) the state shall encourage and, when feasible, provide access to
the state's marine fishery resources consistent with marine fisheries
conservation and management policy; and

(9) the state recognizes that adequate law enforcement services are
integral to the success of any marine resource management program and
shall endeavor to provide the necessary law enforcement services to
ensure the protection of the resources and compliance of users with laws
and regulations designed to manage and allocate those resources.

2. Prior to proposing regulations for the management of marine fish,
mollusks (Phylum mollusca) or crustaceans (Class crustacea) found in the
marine and coastal district, the department shall identify recreational
and commercial fisheries interests which may be affected by the proposed
regulations and directly consult with such interests. Such consultation
may include, as appropriate, the conduct of meetings with invited
representatives of fisheries interests, public information meetings,
public hearings, direct mailings of information and public comment
solicitations, and publication of proposals and comment solicitations in
trade publications, and other measures. Such consultation shall include
a meeting with the marine resources advisory council. No consultation
shall be required prior to proposing emergency regulations.

3. (a) In reviewing proposed regulations, the council may request
comments from harvesters of marine fisheries and the commercial and
recreational fishing industries.

(b) The council shall express its advice to the department as the
result of a vote of the membership on a recommendation that the proposed
regulations be adopted, not adopted, or adopted with specified

(c) In making its final decision on such regulations, the department
shall be guided by the recommendations of the marine resources advisory
council and, consistent with the marine fisheries conservation and
management policy set forth in subdivision one of this section and the
requirements of subparagraph three of paragraph (b) of subdivision one
of this section, shall endeavor to incorporate such recommendations in
the final rulemaking. The department's assessment of public comment
published in the state register shall set forth the council's
recommendations and an explanation of the department's final decision in
regard to such recommendations and the requirements of this section.