§ 20-10-1. Declaration of intent and public policy.
Whereas, R.I. Const., Art. I, Sec. 17, guarantees to the people the right to enjoy and freely exercise all rights of fishery, and imposes on the general assembly the responsibility to provide for the conservation of water, plant, and animal resources of the state; and
Whereas, it is in the best public interest of the people and the state that the land and waters of the state, are utilized properly and effectively to produce plant and animal life; and
Whereas, the process of aquaculture is a proper and effective method to cultivate plant and animal life; and
Whereas, the process of aquaculture should only be conducted within the waters of the state in a manner consistent with the best public interest, with particular consideration given to the effect of aquaculture on other uses of the free and common fishery and navigation, and the compatibility of aquaculture with the environment of the waters of the state; therefore,
It is the public policy of this state to preserve the waters of this state as free and common fishery. The health, welfare, environment, and general wellbeing of the people of the state require that the state restrict the uses of its waters and the land thereunder for aquaculture and, in the exercise of the police power, the waters of the state and land thereunder are to be regulated under this chapter.
(P.L. 1980, ch. 219, § 2; P.L. 1996, ch. 274, § 1.)