A N A C T
RELATING TO FISH AND WILDLIFE -- MARINE FISHERIES COUNCIL
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 20-1-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 20-1 entitled "General Provisions" is hereby amended to read as follows:
20-1-2. Authority over fish and wildlife -- The general assembly hereby vests in the director of the department of environmental management authority and responsibility over the fish and wildlife of the state and
, together with the marine fisheries council as provided in chapter 3 of this title, over the fish, lobsters, shellfish, and other biological resources of marine waters of the state.
SECTION 2. Sections 20-3-1 and 20-3-2 of the General Laws in Chapter 20-3 entitled "Marine Fisheries Council" are hereby amended to read as follows:
20-3-1. Council created -- Membership -- Compensation -- There is hereby created a marine fisheries council. The council shall be composed of the director of the department of environmental management or the director's designee, who shall serve as chairperson and eight (8) private citizen members. The private citizen members shall be chosen from among those with skill, knowledge and experience in the commercial fishing industry, the sport fishing industry, and in the conservation and management of fisheries resources and shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate. Three (3) of the private citizen members shall be representatives of the commercial fishing industry; three (3) shall be representatives of the sport fishing industry; and the remaining two (2) shall have skill, knowledge, and experience in the conservation and management of fisheries resources and/or marine biology. The chairperson of the coastal resources management council and the chiefs of the divisions of enforcement and fish and wildlife in the department of environmental management shall serve in an advisory capacity to the council. Members of the council shall serve for a term of four (4) years and may not succeed themselves. Initial appointments to the council shall be appointed as follows: three (3) members for a term of two (2) years, three (3) members for a term of three (3) years, and two (2) members for a term of four (4) years. All members of the council shall serve without compensation and shall be reimbursed for their necessary expenses incurred in travel and in the performance of their duties.
20-3-2. Powers and duties --
The marine fisheries council shall have regulatory jurisdiction over all marine animal species within the jurisdictional territory of the state. The council is authorized, after the holding of a public hearing to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations governing the following activities only, within the areas of its jurisdiction: The marine fisheries council shall serve in an advisory capacity only to the director of the department of environmental management in the exercise of his or her regulatory authority under this title, including but not limited to sections 20-1-2, 2-1-4 and 20-1-5 pertaining to the following activities:
(1) The manner of taking fish, lobsters, and shellfish;
(2) The legal size limits of fish, lobsters, and shellfish to be taken or possessed;
(3) The seasons and hours during which fish, lobsters, and shellfish may be taken or possessed;
(4) The numbers or quantities of fish, lobsters, and shellfish which may be taken or possessed; and
(5) The opening and closing of areas within the coastal waters to the taking of any and all types of fish, lobsters, and shellfish.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.