Maine LD 353: An Act To Ensure Maine’s Elver Fishermen Can Fully Access Maine’s Elver Resource

LD 353 (subjects: FISH , EELS )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=353&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text & Amendments | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Jeffrey Pierce of Dresden: (R – District 53) — e-mail | Facebook

8 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
2/10/2015 House Committee on Marine Resources suggested and ordered printed.
The Bill was REFERRED to the Committee on MARINE RESOURCES.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
2/12/2015 Senate On motion by Senator Baker of Sagadahoc, REFERRED to the Committee on Marine Resources, in concurrence.
4/14/2015 House CONSENT CALENDAR – FIRST DAY
4/16/2015 House Committee on Bills in the Second Reading Reports no further verbal amendments necessary Representative McLEAN of Gorham, Chair, House of Representatives Report Accepted.
CONSENT CALENDAR – SECOND DAY.
The Bill was PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED as Amended by Committee Amendment “A” (H-63).
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
4/21/2015 Senate Report READ and ACCEPTED , in concurrence.
READ ONCE
Committee Amendment “A” (H-63) READ and ADOPTED , in concurrence.
ASSIGNED FOR SECOND READING NEXT LEGISLATIVE DAY.
4/23/2015 Senate COMMITTEE ON BILLS IN THE SECOND READING REPORTS NO FURTHER VERBAL AMENDMENTS NECESSARY, Senator Saviello, Senate Chair. REPORT ACCEPTED.
READ A SECOND TIME and PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED AS AMENDED BY Committee Amendment “A” (H-63), in concurrence.
Ordered sent down forthwith.
4/28/2015 House PASSED TO BE ENACTED.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
4/29/2015 Senate PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.
5/12/2015 House Bill RECALLED From Governor (Pursuant to Joint Order – House Paper 947.)
On motion of Representative KUMIEGA of Deer Isle, under suspension of the rules, the House RECONSIDERED its action whereby the Bill was PASSED TO BE ENACTED.
On further motion of same Representative, under FURTHER suspension of the rules, the House RECONSIDERED its action whereby the Bill was PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED as Amended by Committee Amendment “A” (H-63).
On further motion of the same Representative, under FURTHER suspension of the rules, the House RECONSIDERED ADOPTION of Committee Amendment “A” (H-63).
On further motion of the same Representative, House Amendment “A” (H-133) to Committee Amendment “A” (H-63) was READ and ADOPTED.
Committee Amendment “A” (H-63) as Amended by House Amendment “A” (H-133) thereto ADOPTED.
Bill was PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED as Amended by Committee Amendment “A” (H-63) as Amended by House Amendment “A” (H-133) thereto
In NON-CONCURRENCE and sent for concurrence.
ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
5/13/2015 Senate On motion by Senator BAKER of Sagadahoc The Senate RECEDED and CONCURRED To PASSAGE TO BE ENGROSSED AS AMENDED BY Committee Amendment “A” (H-63) As Amended By House Amendment “A” (H-133) thereto , in concurrence.
5/19/2015 House PASSED TO BE ENACTED.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
5/20/2015 Senate PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

Bill Text & Amendments

Important Note: The bill text below presents L.D. 353 as originally introduced. L.D. 353 was changed by the legislature through amendment. To understand the impact of this legislation in proper context, be sure to read adopted amendment text, available here: C-A (H-63) H-A to C-A (H-133) .

An Act To Ensure Maine’s Elver Fishermen Can Fully Access Maine’s Elver Resource

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

Whereas, the high value per pound for elvers in recent years has resulted in economic benefit for the State of Maine and Maine’s elver fishermen; and

Whereas, the statewide elver quota for the 2014 fishing season was 11,749 pounds; and

Whereas, Maine elver fishermen harvested only 9,688 pounds of elvers during the 2014 fishing season; and

Whereas, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission reduced Maine’s elver quota by an amount equivalent to the difference between the elver quota and the amount actually harvested during the 2014 fishing season; and

Whereas, the Department of Marine Resources must act quickly to ensure Maine fishermen can fully access Maine’s elver resource in future fishing seasons; 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 6404-H, as amended by PL 2013, c. 49, 4, is further amended to read:

6404-H. Suspension or revocation based on conviction of an elver fishing license offense

The commissioner shall suspend or revoke a person’s eligibility for the elver lotteries lottery under section 6505-A, subsection 2-B 2-C if the person is convicted of an offense in violation of section 6505-A, subsection 1.

1. First offense. For a first offense, the commissioner shall suspend the person’s eligibility for the elver lotteries lottery under section 6505-A, subsection 2-B 2-C for one year.
2. Second offense. For a 2nd offense, the commissioner shall permanently revoke the person’s eligibility for the elver lotteries lottery under section 6505-A, subsection 2-B 2-C.

Sec. 2. 12 MRSA 6505-A, sub- 2, F, as enacted by PL 2011, c. 549, 3, is amended to read:

F. Becomes eligible to obtain an elver fishing license pursuant to the elver lotteries lottery under subsection 2-B 2-C.

Sec. 3. 12 MRSA 6505-A, sub- 2-B, as amended by PL 2013, c. 301, 9, is repealed.

Sec. 4. 12 MRSA 6505-A, sub- 2-C is enacted to read:

2-C. Elver lottery. The commissioner shall establish an elver fishing license lottery under which a person who did not hold an elver fishing license in the previous calendar year may become eligible to obtain that license.

A. The elver fishing license lottery must be held on or before February 15th of each calendar year beginning in 2016.
B. In order to be eligible for the elver fishing license lottery, a person must submit a lottery application together with a $25 nonrefundable application fee no later than January 15th of the same calendar year as the lottery.
C. A person may submit no more than one elver fishing license lottery application per lottery year.

The commissioner shall adopt rules no later than December 31, 2015 to implement the elver fishing license lottery. The rules must include provisions for the method and administration of the lottery. Rules adopted under this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Application fees collected under this subsection must be deposited in the Eel and Elver Management Fund established in section 6505-D.

Sec. 5. 12 MRSA 6505-A, sub- 3-A, B and C, as enacted by PL 2013, c. 485, 7, are amended to read:

B. Establish the amount of the overall annual quota under paragraph A that is allocated to persons licensed under this section and specify a formula to establish individual quotas for persons licensed under this section. The formula may take into account the amount of elvers a person licensed under this section lawfully harvested in previous seasons based on final harvesting reports. The rules must specify the date by which harvester reports are considered final for the purpose of determining individual quotas; and
C. Provide, in accordance with section 6302-B, that 21.9% of the overall annual quota under paragraph A is allocated to the federally recognized Indian tribes in the State and establish the amount of that portion of the overall annual quota allocated to the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs . ; and

Sec. 6. 12 MRSA 6505-A, sub- 3-A, D is enacted to read:

D. Provide for the transferability of individual quotas among persons licensed under this section.

Sec. 7. 12 MRSA 6575-B, sub- 2-B, A, as enacted by PL 1999, c. 534, 5, is amended to read:

A. A person who is issued an elver fishing license pursuant to section 6505-A, subsection 2, paragraph C may not immerse elver fishing gear other than the types and amounts of gear the person was authorized to immerse during the previous elver fishing season , except that a person may surrender the authority to use an elver fyke net in order to use an elver dip net. Beginning January 1, 2016, a person may select, as part of that person’s license application, which gear type the person will use for the entire elver fishing season that calendar year.

Sec. 8. Rulemaking to implement selection of gear type. The Commissioner of Marine Resources shall complete rulemaking to implement the allowance of selection of gear type by elver fishermen pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 6575-B by the start of the 2016 elver fishing season. Rules adopted to implement this allowance are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Sec. 9. Rulemaking to implement transferable quotas. The Commissioner of Marine Resources shall complete rulemaking to implement transferability of individual quotas for elvers pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 6505-A, subsection 3-A, paragraph D by the start of the 2016 elver fishing season. During the rulemaking process, the commissioner shall consider, without limitation, the following:

1. Among which elver fishermen may individual quotas be transferred;

2. Whether new participants should enter the elver fishery by purchasing individual quotas or if transfer should be limited to existing elver licensees only;

3. Whether transfers should be documented before the beginning of the elver fishing season to support enforcement efforts by the Department of Marine Resources;

4. What type of ownership interests in individual quotas may be transferred;

5. Whether owner-operator restrictions should be imposed on transfers of individual quotas; and

6. Whether caps on total individual quota ownership should be imposed to prevent unfair concentration of ownership of individual quotas.

Rules adopted to implement the transferability of individual quotas for elvers are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

SUMMARY

This bill amends Maine’s elver licensing laws to provide for the selection of elver gear types by elver fishermen, to be implemented via rulemaking before the 2016 elver fishing season. Additionally, this bill amends Maine’s individual elver quota system to provide for transferability of individual quotas, to be implemented via rulemaking before the 2016 elver fishing season.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 353 was last updated on 2016-05-12.
The Open Maine Politics website is in a beta release and results should not be taken as definitive. Please visit the official website of the Maine State Legislature for entirely verifiable information.

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