2011 -- S 0997
A N A C T
RELATING TO FISH
AND WILDLIFE -- THE
Introduced By: Senators Sosnowski, Sheehan, McCaffrey, Walaska, and Felag
Date Introduced: June 01, 2011
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Title 20 of the General Laws entitled "FISH AND WILDLIFE" is hereby
amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
20-38-1. Short title. – This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Rhode
20-38-2. Legislative findings. – The general assembly hereby finds that there are
currently insufficient resources and information necessary to
fishermen and small businesses and ensure the best possible economic and environmental
outcomes for the creation of more locally produced sustainable food systems, that in particular
includes seafood, in the State of
20-38-3. Definitions. – When used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the
under section 20-38-4;
(3) “State agencies” means state entities responsible for the implementation of Rhode
Island’s fishery management and economic development, including, but not be limited to:
(i) The department of environmental management, which shall include:
(A) The division of agricultural and resource management,
(B) The division of fish and wildlife marine program;
(ii) The economic development corporation;
(iii) The coastal resources management council;
(iv) The department of health;
(v) The department of administration.
(4) “Aquaculture” means the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans,
mollusks and aquatic plants.
(5) “Sustainable food system” means one in which resources (including natural resources
such as soil and water, as well as human resources such as labor) are used at or below their rate of
(6) “Seafood dealers” means any person engaged in purchasing, raising, propagating,
breeding, or acquiring or possessing live fish or fish eggs to be sold or furnished to others for the
purpose of resale licensed in the State of
(7) “Locally landed” means legally produced species of fish or aquaculture caught by a
vessel landing and licensed to fish in the State of
20-38-4. Collaborative established. – (a) There is hereby created an interagency
collaborative known as “The
(9) members as follows:
(1) The director of the department of environmental management or his or her designee,
who shall serve as chairperson;
(2) The director of the economic development corporation, or his or her designee;
(3) The chief of the division of fish and wildlife in marine management, or his or her
(4) The director of department of health, or his or her designee;
(5) The chief of the division of agricultural management of the department of
environmental management, or his or her designee;
(6) The executive director of the coastal resources management council, or his or her
(7) The director of administration, or his or her designee;
(8) The dean of the
sciences, or his or her designee; and
(9) One representative of higher education to be appointed by the senate president.
(b) Forthwith upon the passage of this chapter, the members of the collaborative shall
meet at the call of the chairperson and organize. Thereafter, the collaborative shall meet quarterly
and at the call of the chairperson or three (3) members of the collaborative.
(c) All departments and agencies of the state shall furnish such advice and information,
documentation, and otherwise to the collaborative and its agents as is deemed necessary or
desirable by the collaborative to facilitate the purposes of this chapter.
(d) The members of the collaborative shall receive no compensation for their services.
20-38-5. Powers and duties. – The collaborative shall support and work collaboratively
Island seafood, including but not limited to:
(1) Identify regulatory restrictions preventing and/or inhibiting local seafood marketing
initiatives and identify opportunities to remove those regulatory restrictions;
(2) Identify and facilitate opportunities to increase consumer demand for local seafood;
(3) Identify and facilitate opportunities to establish agreements with local fishermen and
seafood dealers for potential seafood marketplace expansion;
(4) Review and identify existing studies, pilot programs and initiatives of this state and
other states regarding seafood-marketing practices;
(5) Provide educational opportunities for consumers and the fishing community regarding
local seafood issues and initiatives;
(6) Identify funding sources available to the fishing community to support seafood
(7) Respond to requests for information from the legislature and comment on proposed
(8) Issue recommendations necessary to achieve these goals;
opportunities for potential funding to support
marketing efforts and initiatives.
Advisory council. – (a) The
advisory council is hereby established. The advisory council shall consist of ten (10) members
each of whom shall be appointed by the director of the department of environmental
(1) A fish dealer/wholesaler/processor or representative;
(2) A shellfish dealer or processor of lobster and crab;
(3) A shellfish dealer or processor of clams, etc;
(4) A aquaculture dealer or processor;
(5) A retailer of seafood product representing a restaurant organization;
(6) A seafood retailer representing an independent or franchised store;
(7) A shellfish harvester;
(8) A fisheries manager specialist;
(9) A marine scientist;
(10) An independent organization or association representing the hospitality industry.
(b) Advisory council members shall serve two (2) year terms and are eligible to succeed
themselves. In the event a member is unable to complete his or her term, the director of the
department of environmental management shall appoint a successor, and the successor appointed
to the vacancy shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. The members of the board
shall receive no compensation.
(c) The advisory council shall elect annually a chairperson from among its members.
(d) The advisory council shall meet at least quarterly at the call of the chairperson or
three (3) council members. The chairperson of the
or designee from among the members of the collaborative, shall be present for all advisory
(e) The advisory council shall advise the collaborative on all matters pertaining to the
collaborative duties and powers.
20-38-7. Meeting and reporting requirements. -- (a) The collaborative shall provide a
report of its findings addressing the research, marketing, expansion and funding opportunities for
local seafood. Said report shall be provided to the governor and general assembly by April 30,
(b) Thereafter, the collaborative shall report to the governor and the general assembly, no
later than April 30 of each year, on the progress made in achieving the goals and objectives set
forth in this chapter and any other pertinent information by April 30, 2012.
(c) The collaborative shall be subject to the provisions of chapter 38-2, access to public
records act, and chapter 42-46, open meetings act.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.