§ 20-3.2-2. Findings.
The general assembly finds and declares:
(a) The people of the State of Rhode Island have an ongoing interest in the sound management of commercially and noncommercially important marine fish, shellfish, and crustacean species and their associated habitats.
(b) That marine fisheries have been important to the way of life of people in Rhode Island throughout its history;
(c) Marine fisheries support commercial operations and recreational activities, both of which are significant contributors to the state's economy;
(d) The rights and interests of people to engage in commercial and recreational fishing in Rhode Island's marine waters need to be recognized and protected;
(e) Rhode Island has historically managed its marine fisheries for the benefit of the people of the state, as an ecological asset, and as a source of food, income, and recreation;
(f) Protecting fish, shellfish, crustaceans, essential marine habitats, and the right to fish in Rhode Island's marine waters must be managed together;
(g) Various management measures, including the closure of marine waters or portions thereof to fishing, can be utilized to manage marine fish, shellfish, crustaceans, essential marine habitats, or other marine resources, but such measures must be developed in response to specific conservation or restoration needs; be based on the best, currently available scientific information; and emanate from an open management and regulatory process, incorporating full input from all affected stakeholders, conducted pursuant to the general laws of the state of Rhode Island.
(P.L. 2003, ch. 164, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 167, § 1.)