§ 20-2.1-1. Findings.
The general assembly finds and declares:
(1) That the constitution of the state places plenary authority and responsibility in the general assembly to provide for the conservation of natural resources of the state, including its marine fisheries;
(2) That the state of Rhode Island has historically established programs to provide for and regulate harvesting, taking, landing, and selling marine finfish, crustaceans, and shellfish for the benefit of the people of the state;
(3) That federal government and regional entities have established, and continue to establish, regulatory programs, management measures, quotas, and restrictions that affect persons engaged in marine fisheries in Rhode Island, and that Rhode Island functions in whole or in part in the context of these federal and regional programs depending on the marine species;
(4) That the department of environmental management, in accordance with the requirements of § 20-3.1-7(1), has issued goals and principles pertaining to biological, socio-economic, and licensing and data collection issues that present;
(5) That the rights and interests of residents of Rhode Island to engage in fishing, including commercial fishing, need to be recognized and protected;
(6) That the rights and interests of persons engaged in commercial fishing are affected by fisheries management programs and allocations and need to be reported and be given consideration; and
(7) That Rhode Island's statutes and programs for marine fisheries management and licensure developed over time and need to be brought up-to-date and made adaptable to changing conditions and circumstances.
(P.L. 2002, ch. 47, § 4.)