§ 20-3.2-3 Freedom to fish.
(a) The marine waters of Rhode Island, or portions thereof, shall not be closed to recreational or commercial fishing unless such closure is:
(1) Deemed necessary in order to protect, manage or restore marine fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and associated marine habitats or other marine resources, protect public health or safety, or address some other public purpose;
(2) Based on the best currently available scientific information; and (3) developed via public review and stakeholder input through chapter 35 of title 42 and other applicable state law, and with the advice of the marine fisheries council; except where the director deems it necessary to institute a closure via emergency rule, in which case the regulation must meet the standards set forth by chapter 35 of title 42 and have an effective period of not more than one hundred twenty (120) days.
(b) Any marine waters of Rhode Island, or portions thereof, that are closed to recreational or commercial fishing shall be reopened if and when the original justification for such closure ceases to apply.
(c) As part of the annual reporting requirements as specified in § 20-2.1-9(6), the Department of Environmental Management, upon advice of the Marine Fisheries Council, shall include therein an evaluation of any closures identified as significant by the council and any relevant scientific information related thereto that was collected during the year.
(P.L. 2003, ch. 164, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 167, § 1.)