CHAPTER 439

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 490

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 3 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO AQUACULTURAL ACTIVITIES IN THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Title 3 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a, new Chapter 4 to read as follows:

"Chapter 4. DELAWARE AQUACULTURE ACT

§401. Short Title.

This Act shall be known and may be cited as the 'Delaware Aquaculture Act'.

§402. Declaration of Purpose.

The General Assembly finds and declares it to be in the interest of the general welfare and economic prosperity of the State to have a comprehensive and ongoing program to promote and encourage aquacultural activities. The General Assembly further declares aquaculture to be an agricultural activity and that the Department of Agriculture shall coordinate aquacultural activities in the State of Delaware.

§403. Definitions.

As used In this Chapter:

(1) 'Aquaculture' means the cultivation, production or marketing of any fish, aquatic invertebrate or aquatic plant that is spawned, produced or marketed as a cultivated crop in waters of this State.

(2) 'Department' means the Department of Agriculture.

(3) 'Secretary' means the Secretary of the Department or his or her designee.

§404. Aquaculture Technical Assistance and Marketing Program.

The Department shall develop and implement a technical assistance and marketing program to assist owners and operators of aquacultural facilities and to promote Delaware aquaculture products. This program will be done in conjunction with, and shall be consistent with, the Department's responsibilities as defined in Section 3 of this Title. The Department's program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Maintain a complete list of aquaculturalists engaged in the production of any aquacultural product for the purposes of certifying those aquaculturists as bonafide Delaware Aquaculture producers;

(2) Develop and administer procedures for possession, processing, sale, delivery, transportation, or exporting of aquaculture products that comply with all federal and state laws and regulations;

(3) Encourage the viability and profitability of aquaculture operations and to promote consumption of Delaware grown aquaculture products within and outside the State.

§405. Delaware Aquaculture Council.

A Delaware Aquaculture Council is hereby created for the purposes of assisting the Department with the enhancement and promotion of aquaculture activities and operations within the State. Duties of the Council shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) Examine the impact of laws and regulations on the aquaculture industry and recommend to the Secretary methods to simplify regulatory processes or otherwise enhance the regulatory climate with respect to the efficient siting and operation of aquaculture operations;

(2) Examine research and educational needs as they relate to the improvement of management and operations of aquaculture operations and report to the Secretary on what actions are required to address these needs;

(3) Respond to requests of the Secretary to examine other issues relating to the enhancement of aquaculture activities and operations in Delaware.

The Council shall be composed of not less than 12 members. Members of the Council shall include:

(1) The Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control or his designee;

(2) The Director of the Development Office or his designee;

(3) A representative of the University of Delaware to be appointed by the President of the University;

(4) A representative of Delaware State College to be appointed by the President of the College;

(5) A representative of the Farm Bureau Aquaculture Committee to be appointed by the President of the Delaware Farm Bureau;

(6) Three individuals that are actively involved in commercial aquaculture activities or operations to be appointed by the Chairman of the Council;

(7) Three individuals with an interest in aquaculture activities to be appointed by the Chairman of the Council.

The Secretary shall also be a member of the Council and shall serve as chair. Each Council member shall be reimbursed for all proper and necessary expenses but shall receive no compensation for time spent in attending the work of the Council.

§406. Limitations.

Aquaculture activities shall not promote the introduction of any non-indigenous species that harbor disease, parasites or are capable of surviving and adversely competing with indigenous plant or animal species."

Approved July 26, 1990.