CHAPTER 29

FORMERLY

SENATE BILL NO. 76

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 7 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO COMMERCIAL FISHING.

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

Section 1. Amend § 906, Title 7, Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new subsection as follows: “(71) ‘Active commercial fisherman’ shall mean an individual licensed by the Department to fish for commercial purposes for finfish or shellfish who has filed landing reports with the Department that account for no less than 0.1% of the landings in a specific commercial fishery identified by gear type during any one of the previous three calendar year.”.

Section 2. Amend § 915(f), Title 7, Delaware Code, by striking the last two sentences thereof and substituting in lieu thereof the following: “No food fishing equipment permits for gill nets shall be issued to new commercial fishermen after calendar year 1984 unless the total number of existing food fishing equipment permits for gill nets issued to commercial fishermen is less than 111, the number issued in 1999. The Department shall issue additional food fishing equipment permits for gill nets to individuals who have completed a commercial fishing apprenticeship program of at least 150 days in no less than a two year period with an active commercial fisherman licensed by the Department, not to exceed a total of 111 in number, under and pursuant to a lottery conducted by the Department. Food fishing equipment permits for gill nets may be transferred to a spouse or a child of the permit holder or to an individual who has completed the apprenticeship program of at least 150 days in no less than a two year period with an active commercial fisherman licensed by the Department.”.

Section 3. Amend § 915, Title 7, Delaware Code by deleting subsection (l) in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following: “(l) Notwithstanding subsection (k) of this section, when the total number of food fishing equipment permits for hook and line drops below 172, the number issued in 1999, the Department shall issue additional food fishing equipment permits for hook and line to individuals who have completed an apprenticeship program of at least 150 days in no less than a two year period with an active commercial fisherman licensed by the Department, not to exceed a total of 172 in number, under and pursuant to a lottery conducted by the Department. A food fishing equipment permit for hook and line may be transferred to another individual who has completed an apprenticeship program of at least 150 days in no less than a two year period with an active commercial fisherman licensed by the Department.”

Section 4. Amend § 915, Title 7, Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection to read as follows: “(o) An individual, at least 16 years of age, may enter into an agreement with an active commercial fisherman, licensed by the Department, to serve as a commercial fishing apprentice to said commercial fisherman. This agreement shall be in writing on a form provided by the Department and filed with the Department. An apprentice shall not enter into an agreement with more than one active commercial fisherman at any one time and an active commercial fisherman shall not enter into an agreement with more than one apprentice at any one time. In the event an agreement is cancelled by either party, the Department shall credit an apprentice with time served and said time shall be retained if the apprentice signs an agreement with another active commercial fisherman. A commercial fishing apprentice must complete no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period. Eight hours of commercial fishing activities shall equal one day. Commercial fishing activities shall include fishing, operating a vessel, maintaining fishing equipment or a vessel, handling and/or transporting fish for sale or other activities directly associated with a commercial fishery. Fishing activities shall be documented on a daily log provided by the Department. Logs shall be submitted to the Department on a monthly basis on or before the 10th of the following month. An apprentice who completes no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period shall be eligible for the following:

1) Commercial food fishing equipment permit for gill nets transferred by another active commercial fisherman;

2) Authorization to commercially fish with a hook and line transferred by another active commercial fisherman;

3) Participation in lotteries conducted by the Department for commercial food fishing equipment permits for gill nets or authorization to commercially fish with a hook and line.

4) Commercial crab dredge license, commercial conch pot license and commercial conch dredge license according to the provisions of § 1920 of this Title.

If, during the previous calendar year, fewer commercial gill net permits or commercial hook and line permits are issued than in 1999, the Department shall conduct a lottery for the number of said permits different from the number issued in 1999. Only those individuals who have completed their commercial fishing apprenticeship are eligible for these lotteries. In 1999, the Department issued 111 commercial gill net permits and 172 commercial hook and line permits.”

Section 5. Amend § 1918, Title 7, Delaware by adding thereto a new subsection to read as follows: “(e) An active commercial fisherman with a commercial crab dredger’s license may transfer his or her license to a commercial fishing apprentice who has completed no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period.”

Section 6. Amend § 1919, Title 7, Delaware Code, by striking said section in its entirety.

Section 7. Amend Chapter 19, Title 7, Delaware Code by adding a new section thereto to read as follows: “ § 1920 Apprenticeships.

An individual, at least 16 years of age, may enter into an agreement with an active commercial fisherman, licensed by the Department, to serve as a commercial fishing apprentice to said commercial fisherman. This agreement shall be in writing on a form provided by the Department and filed with the Department. In the event an agreement is cancelled by either party, the Department shall credit an apprentice with time served and said time shall be retained if the apprentice signs an agreement with another active commercial fisherman. An apprentice shall not enter into an agreement with more than one active commercial fisherman at any one time and an active commercial fisherman shall not enter into an agreement with more than one apprentice at any one time. An apprentice must compete no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period to be eligible for the transfer or enter lotteries for certain commercial fishing licenses. Eight hours of commercial fishing activities shall equal one (1) day. Commercial fishing activities shall include fishing, operating a vessel, maintaining fishing equipment or a vessel, handling and transporting fish for sale or other activities directly associated with a commercial fishery. Fishing activities shall be documented on a daily log form provided by the Department. Said logs shall be signed by the apprentice and the commercial fisherman listed on the agreement and witnessed by another commercial fisherman licensed by the Department. Log sheets shall be submitted to the Department on a monthly basis on or before the 10th day of the following month. An apprentice who completes no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period shall be eligible for the following:

1. Commercial crab dredgers license transferred by another active commercial crab dredger;

2. Commercial conch pot license transferred by another active commercial conch potter,

3. Commercial conch dredge license transferred by another active commercial conch dredger;

4. Participation in lotteries conducted by the Department for commercial crab dredgers licenses, commercial conch pot licenses and commercial conch dredge licenses.

5. Commercial food fishing equipment permits for gill nets and authority to commercially fish with hook and line according to the provisions of § 915 (o) of this Title.

If, during the previous calendar year, fewer commercial crab dredgers licenses are issued than in 1999, the Department shall conduct a lottery for the number of said licenses different from the number issued in 1999 and the precious year. In 1999, the Department issued 52 commercial conch pot licenses. If during the previous calendar year, fewer commercial conch dredge licenses are issued than in 1999, the Department shall conduct a lottery for the number of said licenses different from the number issued in 1999 and the previous year. In 1999, the Department issued 15 conch dredge licenses.”

Section 8. Amend § 2802, Title 7, Delaware Code, by adding a new subsection thereto to read as follows: “(j) An active commercial fisherman with a commercial conch pot license may transfer his or her license to a commercial fishing apprentice who has completed no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period.”

Section 9. Amend § 2803, Title 7, Delaware Code, by adding a new subsection thereto to read as follows: “(f) An active commercial fisherman with a commercial conch dredge license may transfer his or her license to a commercial fishing apprentice who has competed no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a two year period.”

Approved May 03, 2001