TITLE 7

Conservation

Game, Wildlife and Dogs

CHAPTER 9. FINFISHING IN TIDAL WATERS


(a) The purpose of this chapter is to effectuate the State's policy toward the management and conservation of coastal finfishery resources in cooperation with the federal government, local governments of this State and the governments of other states. This chapter provides the legal framework by which the users of this State's finfishery resource can participate in the State's responsibility of governing fishing for, and the taking of, finfish in a manner that is both biologically and socioeconomically sound.

(b) It shall be the policy of the State to manage tidal water finfisheries in accordance with the development and maintenance of a management strategy that perpetuates the historic significance of recreational and commercial fisheries with priority for development of interstate management plans given to those species that are of foremost interest to recreational fishers. These species shall include the weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, striped bass, Morone saxatilis, summer flounder, Paralichthys dentatus, bluefish, Pomatomus saltatrix, Atlantic croaker, Micropogan undulatus, porgy, Stenotomus chrysops, kingfish, Menticirrhus saxatilis, codfish, Gadus morrhua, seabass, Centroprists striata, and Atlantic mackerel, Scomber scombrus.

(c) It shall also be the policy of the State to manage tidal water finfisheries in accordance with management objectives that maintain optimum yields of fish, that provide a viable experience for recreational fishers and that provide sound business opportunities for commercial fishers and for those providing services to fishers. Management shall be accomplished in cooperation with the federal government, the governments of other states and local fishing interests. Management shall be biologically and socioeconomically sound.

(d) In recognition of these fishes as migratory species which routinely spend some part of their life in the territorial seas and interior waters of different coastal states and the fishery conservation zone (3-200 nautical miles), interstate fishery management plans for each species or group of closely related species may be developed by the Department in cooperation with other interested Atlantic coast states and the appropriate federal agencies in the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Commerce. The development of each interstate fishery management plan shall include an appropriate Delaware Citizens Advisory Committee whose membership shall consist of individuals who are residents of this State and shall represent the commercial and recreational interest for that fishery. Both the Citizens Advisory Committees and the Department shall abide by the following management principles in the development of an interstate fishery management plan:

(1) Fisheries management shall prevent overfishing while achieving on a continuing basis the optimum yield from each fishery;

(2) Fisheries management shall be based upon the best available scientific and socioeconomic information;

(3) Fisheries management shall, to the extent practical, manage individual stocks of fish as a unit in cooperation with other states and federal authorities throughout the range of fish;

(4) Fisheries management shall, to the extent practical, allocate or assign fishing privileges among fishers to conform to historic fisheries landing statistics and be reasonably calculated to promote conservation;

(5) If it becomes necessary to allocate or assign fishing privileges among the citizens of this State, such allocation shall, to the extent practical, promote efficiency in the utilization of fishery resources, except that no such measure shall have economic allocation as the sole purpose; and

(6) Fisheries management, to the extent practical, shall minimize costs and avoid unnecessary duplications.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

This chapter and any regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall apply to fishing for, and the taking of, finfish, in the tidal waters of the State, except for eels, which is provided for under Chapter 18 of this title. This chapter and any regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter shall not apply to cultured aquatic stock in transit to, or in or removed from, registered aquaculture facilities pursuant to Chapter 4 of Title 3.

Code 1915, § 2500; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 2982; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 901; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 103, § 8.;

(a) The Department shall administer and enforce the laws and regulations of the State relating to finfishing in the tidal waters of the State.

(b) The Department shall have the authority to cooperate and assist departments, agencies and offices of the State and other states, local governments and the federal government in the management and conservation of finfishery resources.

(c) The Department may issue permits to scientific and/or educational institutions, or employees thereof, allowing said party or parties to be at a specific location, at a specific time, and to use equipment to fish for, or use methods to take finfish, where said equipment, method, location or time would otherwise be illegal under this chapter or any regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter.

(d) [Repealed.]

(e) The Department in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 905 of this title shall have the authority to promulgate regulations, which shall have the force and effect of law, to enhance the conservation and management of coastal finfisheries, including the biological and socioeconomic aspects of coastal finfisheries. Any regulation pertaining to fishing for food fish shall require a statement addressing whether or not said regulation will have a significant impact upon the conservation of the fishery in question. Except where otherwise provided in this section, such regulations shall be consistent with this chapter, and may only include, and encompass, the following areas:

(1)a. Add legal fishing equipment or methods to fish for bait fish in addition to the provisions of § 908 of this title.

b. Closed and/or open areas to fish for bait fish according to the provisions of § 909 of this title.

c. Add legal fishing equipment or methods to fish for food fish in addition to § 910 of this title.

d. Restrict fishing within areas designated as striped bass spawning areas according to § 930 of this title; provided that any restriction on fishing is consistent with fishing restrictions imposed by other states adjoining designated striped bass spawning areas located in Delaware.

e. Closed or open areas within Rehoboth Bay and its tributaries, Indian River and Indian River Bay and their tributaries, Little Assawoman Bay and its tributaries, Big Assawoman Bay and its tributaries, Nanticoke River and its tributaries and all tributaries entering the Delaware River and Delaware Bay to fishing with gill nets for food fish.

f. Restrict the mesh size of recreational drift gill nets that may be fished for American shad in the Delaware River.

g. Regulate and/or restrict the type of fishing gear or methods which may be used within the geographical boundaries of permitted artificial reef sites within the Delaware Bay and within Delaware's territorial sea (defined as 0 to 3 miles seaward of Delaware's ocean coastline).

(2)a. The Department may promulgate such other regulations concerning a species of finfish that spend part or all of their life cycle within the tidal waters of the State; provided that such regulations are consistent with an interstate fisheries management plan developed for the protection and conservation of said species of finfish. Such regulations may include and encompass the following:

1. Minimum and/or maximum size limits of a species according to § 929 of this title;

2. Restrictions on the quantities of a species that may be taken;

3. Restrictions on the periods of time that a species may be taken;

4. Restrictions on the areas from which a species may be taken; and

5. Restrictions on the mesh sizes of nets from which a species may be taken.

b. In lieu of an interstate fishery management plan for any species of finfish, the Department, in conjunction with the State of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection, may develop a fishery management plan for said species and promulgate interim regulations concerning said species of finfish within the Delaware River and Delaware Bay; provided that the State of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection adopts substantially similar interim regulations. Said interim regulations, in Delaware, shall become effective on the date substantially similar regulations become effective in the State of New Jersey.

These interim regulations may include and encompass the following:

1. Minimum and/or maximum size limits of a species that may be taken and possessed;

2. Restrictions on the quantities of a species that may be taken;

3. Restrictions on the periods of time that a species may be taken;

4. Restrictions on the areas from which a species may be taken; and

5. Restrictions on the mesh sizes of nets from which a species may be taken.

Upon the acceptance by the Department of an interstate fishery management plan for a species of finfish, all interim regulations pertaining to the management of said species shall become void upon the effective date of new regulations promulgated by the Department according to subparagraph a. of this paragraph.

c. Any regulation adopted pursuant to paragraphs (e)(2)a. and b. of this section shall be consistent with the management principles for development of interstate fishery management plans as set forth under § 901 of this title.

(3) The Department may promulgate such other regulations concerning any species of finfish, including marine mammals, that spend part or all of their life cycle within the tidal waters of the State; provided, that such regulations are consistent with management plans approved by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for the protection and conservation of said finfish or marine mammal.

(f) The Department shall have the authority to issue permits or carry out any other administrative procedure provided for under this chapter, including but not limited to, permits, licenses and applications.

(g) The passage and approval of this subsection shall repeal those provisions contained in § 929 of this title that conflict with any Department regulation only if and when the Department promulgates any regulation contrary to said section of this chapter.

(h) The Department shall have the authority to adopt emergency regulations without following the procedures set forth in § 905 of this title when such regulations are necessary to deal with an actual or imminent public health threat or danger to a fishing resource or habitat involving finfish subject to this chapter. Emergency regulations may be adopted by the Department for a period not to exceed 90 days, and may be renewed for sufficient cause for an additional 90-day period. As soon as practicable after adoption of emergency regulations hereunder, the Department shall conduct a public hearing on the matter to obtain and consider all relevant information present to determine if continuation of the emergency regulations is justified.

(i) The Department is authorized to collect pertinent data with respect to fisheries, including, but not limited to, information regarding the type and quantity of fish or weight thereof, areas in which fishing was conducted and time of fishing. The information collected by or reported to the Department shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed in a manner or form that permits identification of any person or vessel, except when required by court order.

(j) The Department shall have the authority to issue a permit to a person for the artificial propagation, aquaculture and possession of finfish which otherwise would be illegal in this State provided that all finfish removed from the tidal waters under the jurisdiction of this State for obtaining eggs or sperm are to be released immediately or disposed of in a manner specified in the permit.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 279, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 192, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 72, § 1; 76 Del. Laws, c. 71, § 13; 77 Del. Laws, c. 239, § 1.;

There is hereby created an Advisory Council on Tidal Finfisheries. The Council shall consist of 7 members, all of whom shall be residents of the State. The Governor shall nominate and the majority of the Senate shall confirm all members of the Council. The following provisions are applicable to the Council:

(1) There shall be at all times no less than 2 members of the Council from each county of the State;

(2) Three members of the Council shall represent recreational finfishing interests to include, but not limited to, the bait and tackle industry, fishing from shore, fishing from a privately owned vessel or the charter or head boat industry; provided that any said member representing recreational fishing interests shall not be a licensed commercial food fisher. Three members of the Council shall represent commercial finfishing interests to include, but not limited to, the wholesale of seafood, fishing with fixed fishing equipment and fishing with drifting or hauling fishing equipment. The seventh member of Council shall be the designated Chairperson who shall be impartial to recreational or commercial fishing;

(3) No member of the Council shall be employed by the Department;

(4) The terms of the original members of the Council shall be as follows: the Chairperson shall serve for 2 years; 2 members shall serve for 3 years; and 2 members shall serve for 4 years; and 2 members shall serve for 5 years. Upon the expiration of the terms of the original members, the term of each member and the Chairperson serving thereafter shall be for 5 years. No member shall serve any subsequent term(s) within 1 year after the end of the member's previous term. The Governor shall nominate a new member to fill any vacancy that has been created by a Council member who has either resigned or died. Said person shall be confirmed by the majority of the Senate and shall serve for the remainder of the term of the member that either resigned or died. Said nominations to fill vacancies in the Council shall be made by the Governor within 60 days after said vacancy has been created;

(5) The number of members needed to be present at a Council meeting in order to have a quorum and conduct official business shall be no less than 4;

(6) The Council shall meet and conduct official business after the Chairperson gives notice to all members of any meeting to be held by the Council, and the Council shall meet no less than once during each quarter of the State's fiscal year;

(7) Members of the Council shall serve without compensation. Each member shall be entitled to reimbursement by the Department from the Finfisheries Development Fund for actual and necessary expenses incurred traveling to and from meetings of the Council;

(8) The Council shall submit a report to the Delaware General Assembly prior to January 1 of each calendar year starting in 1985, and said report shall consist of the Council's recommended revisions, additions, deletions or no changes to this chapter.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Department shall conduct a public hearing on any relevant issue involved with the proposal of any regulation relating directly to finfishing in tidal waters of this State by the Department.

(b) Before any public hearing is held by the Department pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Department shall complete the following procedure:

(1) Publish notice of the public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the State no less than 20 days in advance of the public hearing; and

(2) Said published notice shall include a brief description of the proposed regulation, the time and location of the public hearing, and also the manner in which the public may respond to the Department on the proposed regulation.

(c) The Department shall attempt to notify each person who has been issued a commercial food fishing license or a food fishing equipment permit by the Department, and also any other interested person, of any public hearing on any proposed regulation at least 20 days in advance of any public meeting, but only if said parties have written to the Department requesting that such notice be sent to them at a specific address, and also provided that the Department has received the person's request within 1 year of the date of the public hearing scheduled on the proposed regulation.

(d) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, after the Department has held a public hearing on any proposed regulation, the Department shall then submit said regulation and any summary of said public hearing that may have been prepared by the Department to the Council Chairperson. The Council Chairperson shall then submit the proposed regulation to the Council for its consideration and subsequent advice to the Department.

(e) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all final and effective regulations of the Department relating to finfisheries in the tidal waters of the State shall be filed with the Secretary of State, and shall become effective on the day of the filing thereof.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

Unless otherwise provided in this chapter:

(1) "Active commercial fisher" 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 1 of the previous 3 calendar years.

(2) "Anchor gill net" shall mean a gill net held in place by anchors on the bottom.

(3) "Bag net or channel net" shall mean a bag-shaped net placed in flowing water that is fastened to poles or anchors so as to strain out finfish.

(4) "Bait fish" shall mean the following species of finfish: Minnows or shiners (Cyprinidae (family)); killifish (Fundulus spp.); anchovy (Anchova spp.); sand lance (Ammodytes spp.); mullet (Mugilidae (family)); and other species of food fish measuring less than or equal to 7 inches in length, unless otherwise protected by statute or regulation.

(5) "Bait seine or drag net" shall mean a type of net with mesh webbing not exceeding 100 yards in length with a top line having floats to keep it at the surface and a weighted bottom line. Each end may be attached to poles which 2 or more persons may use to pull the seine through shallow water.

(6) "Bar net" shall mean a single wall of gill netting with ropes or rigid bars attached at right angles between the float and lead lines so that the webbing hangs slack.

(7) "Beam trawl" shall mean a bag, cone or funnel-shaped net without wings that is dragged or towed on the bottom by a vessel or motor power. The mouth of the net is held open by a rigid beam of wood or metal.

(8) "Cast net" shall mean a circular cone-shaped net thrown by hand that has an outer line with attached weights. Once thrown, the weighted line sinks rapidly to the bottom and the weighted line is drawn together by ropes which are attached to a recovery line, closing the net.

(9) "Charter boat" shall mean any vessel-for-hire engaged in recreational fishing that is hired on a per trip basis.

(10) "Commercial finfisher" shall mean any person who takes, catches, kills or reduces to possession any species of finfish taken from the tidal waters of this State by said person and sells, trades, barters or attempts to trade, barter or sell said finfish.

(11) "Common haul seine" shall mean an encircling type of net that is 100 yards or more in length and consisting of 2 wings and a bunt or bag. The top line has floats to keep it at the surface while the bottom line or foot line is weighted. The bunt or bag is flanked by wings to which are attached auxiliary lines. It may be set by a vessel and hauled to shore by hand or power winch.

(12) "Council" shall mean the Advisory Council on Tidal Finfisheries.

(13) "Danish seine" shall mean a trawl net that is rigged for a type of fishing that involves herding finfish with ropes prior to netting. The ropes and trawl net are played out by a vessel. The 2 ropes and trawl net are retrieved by the vessel while anchored with motorized winches. The ropes while being retrieved herd the finfish into the mouth of the trawl net.

(14) "Delaware Bay" shall mean all those tidal waters under the jurisdiction of the State located within an area bordered on the north by a straight line drawn between Liston Point, Delaware and Hope Creek, New Jersey and bordered on the south by a straight line drawn between Cape May Point, New Jersey and Cape Henlopen Point, Delaware, but not including any tributaries thereto.

(15) "Delaware's internal waters" shall mean all of those tidal waters under the jurisdiction of the State, except the Atlantic Ocean, as separated from the Delaware Bay by a straight line drawn between Cape May Point, New Jersey and Cape Henlopen Point, Delaware.

(16) "Delaware River" shall mean all those tidal waters under the jurisdiction of the State located within an area to the north of a straight line connecting Liston Point, Delaware and Hope Creek, New Jersey, but not including any tributaries thereto.

(17) "Delaware's territorial sea" shall mean all of those tidal waters in the Atlantic Ocean separated from Delaware Bay under the jurisdiction of the State, the outer boundary of which is a line 3 nautical miles coterminous with the shoreline of the State.

(18) "Department" shall mean the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

(19) "Dip net" shall mean a mesh bag of netting or wire which is suspended from a circular, oval or a rectangular frame attached to a handle.

(20) "Director" shall mean the Director of the Division.

(21) "Division" means the Division of Fish and Wildlife of the Department.

(22) "Dredge" shall mean any device used to gather, scrape, scoop, fish for or otherwise take bottom dwelling finfish.

(23) "Drift gill net" shall mean a gill net that is free-floating and fished at the surface or at intermediate depths.

(24) "Finfish" shall mean any aquatic vertebrate which has fins.

(25) "Fisheries conservation zone" shall mean that portion of the Atlantic Ocean contiguous to coastal states' territorial seas with an inner boundary as a line coterminous with the seaward boundary of Atlantic coastal states' territorial seas and an outer boundary as a line drawn in such a manner that each point unit is 200 nautical miles from the baseline from which coastal states' territorial seas are measured.

(26) "Fishing," "fished" or "to fish" shall mean to take, catch, kill or reduce to possession or to attempt to take, catch, kill or reduce to possession any finfish by any means whatsoever.

(27) "Fishing equipment" shall mean any dredge, tool, net, line, instrument, device, gear, harpoon, spear, hook or hook and line used or attempted to be used to fish for finfish.

(28) "Fish pot" or "fish trap" or "minnow trap" shall mean a rigid device of various designs and dimensions used to trap finfish with the catching principle based on 1 or more conical funnels to prevent finfish from escaping after they enter the pot or trap. A fish pot or fish trap may be circular, rectangular, cylindrical, cubical or of any other shape. It may be constructed with wire mesh, fish netting over a ridged frame of wood, steel, any other material or any combination of materials. A minnow trap shall have a conical funnel opening of no more than 2 inches.

(29) "Fixed gill net" shall mean any gill net that is not a drifting gill net.

(30) "Food fish" shall mean all species of finfish not specified as bait fish or game fish in this chapter except for eels which are governed by Chapter 18 of this title.

(31) "Food fish dealer" shall mean:

a. Any person licensed under § 2902, § 2903, § 2904, § 2905 or § 2908 of Title 30 who receives food fish from a commercial finfisher;

b. Any commercial finfisher who trades, barters and/or sells food fish to any person licensed under § 2906 of Title 30; or

c. Any commercial finfisher who trades, barters and/or sells food fish to any person whose principle place of business is located outside this State.

(32) "Fyke net" shall mean a hoop net with 1 or more wings or a leader attached and held in place with anchors or stakes to help guide finfish into the hoop net.

(33) "Game fish" shall mean the following species of finfish: smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu); largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides); black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus); white crappie (Pomoxis annularis); rock bass (Ambloplites rupestris); white bass (Morone chrysops); walleye (Stizostedion vitreum); northern pike (Esox lucius); chain pickerel (Esox niger); muskellunge (Esox masquinongy); muskellunge hybrid (Esox masquinongy x lucius); salmon and trout (Salmonidae (family)); sunfishes (Lepomis spp.); white bass-striped bass hybrid (Morone saxatilis x crysops).

(34) "Gill net" shall mean an upright net or fence of fiber or monofilament netting with a float line also known as a cork line, on top, and a weighted line, also known as a lead line, on the bottom in which finfish are caught in the meshes of the net. Finfish, of a size for which the net is designed, swim into the net and can pass only part way through a single mesh. The finfish becomes "gilled" and can neither go forward through the net nor backward out of the net. Gill nets may be suspended at the surface, in mid-water or close to the bottom by controlling the number of floats on the float line and the size and number of weights on the weighted line. The net may be operated in either a stationary or movable manner.

(35) "Harpoon" shall mean an instrument with pointed barbed blade or blades that is detachable from the pole, shaft or handle of the instrument. It may be thrown by hand or discharged from a gun or a mechanical device.

(36) "Headboat" shall mean any vessel-for-hire engaged in recreational fishing that is hired on a per person basis.

(37) "Hook" shall mean a curved piece of wire, or other material, with or without a barbed end that is used to fish for finfish. A hook may consist of 1 hook, or 2 or 3 hooks that have been united together, and these may be known as a single, double or treble hook, respectively.

(38) "Hook and line" shall mean a single fishing line with 1 or more hooks held by, or attended by, or under the immediate control of, 1 or more persons. The hook and line may be attached to a pole, reel, float or stake or may be held by a person.

(39) "Hoop net" shall mean a conical or cylindrical net distended by a series of hoops or frames covered by web netting or wire mesh and may have 1 or more internal funnel-shaped throats that have tapered ends that are directed away from the mouth of the net.

(40) "Individual" shall mean a human being.

(41) "Interstate fisheries management plan" shall mean a document prepared in cooperation with at least 2 other Atlantic coastal states that ascertains factual circumstances, establishes objectives and proposes management measures that will achieve the objective for single species of finfish or a group of closely related finfishes.

(42) "Lampara net" shall mean an encompassing type of net that has a large central bunt and relatively short wings. The wings have a larger mesh than the bunt. This net is set from a moving vessel so as to surround a school of finfish, and then the 2 wings are pulled simultaneously. There is no pursing devices other than the closing of the lines as the net is drawn through the water by the vessel.

(43) "Lift net" shall mean a shallow bag of netting or wire which is attached to a frame that may have a round, rectangular or other shape, and is suspended by a line or bridle. It is lowered beneath the surface and raised rapidly to the surface.

(44) "Long haul seine" shall mean a type of haul seine that may be over 1,000 yards in length and is towed by 2 motorized vessels. It may be towed and/or hauled to a shoal area where the finfish catch is concentrated in the net and brailed from the bunt or bag.

(45) "Longline" shall mean a fishing line with a series of hooks on separate but attached short lines. It can be anchored or drifted. It may also be known as a trotline or setline.

(46) "Long seine" shall mean a modification of the common haul seine with 1 end of the net fastened to an anchor, stake or another vessel while the other end is pulled by a vessel. The pulled end is swept in a circle so that it will pass by the fastened end.

(47) "Mouth" of a tributary, stream, canal, creek or ditch shall mean any point on a line drawn between the outermost 2 points of land or jetties on each bank of the tributary, stream, canal, creek or ditch.

(48) "Nonresident" shall mean any person who has not continuously resided for 1 year within this State prior to the date in question.

(49) "Otter trawl" shall mean a funnel-shaped net with wings, a throat section and cod or bag end that is dragged or towed on the bottom or off of the bottom by 1 or more vessels. Floats and weights are utilized to keep the mouth of the net open. To spread the net, each wing is fastened to an "otter" board or trawl door. Each door is fitted with chains that can be attached to a towing cable from the trawling vessel. The resistance of the door at different angles forces them to pull in opposite directions and keeps the mouth of the net opened.

(50) "Pair trawl" shall mean any net including a trawl net, gill net or any type of seine net that is rigged for a type of fishing that involves towing the net with 2 or more vessels.

(51) "Parallel net" shall mean a gill net which is set across the mouth of a bay, arc of a beach or other restricted body of water. Finfish are gilled when the tide ebbs or flows.

(52) "Person" shall mean any individual, organization, group, business, partnership, corporation or any other type of entity.

(53) "Pound net" or "trap net" shall mean a type of entrapment gear that consists of an arrangement of netting or wire supported upon stakes or piles and has the head ropes or lines above the water or in a frame that is supported by floats and anchors. A pound net or trap net may consist of an enclosure known as the pound proper, crib or pocket which has a netting floor and section known as a heart, from the entrance of which a straight wall known as the leader or runner extends outward. There may be several combinations of hearts, pounds or pockets. Finfish are voluntarily directed by the leader towards and into the heart and/or pound, and then into the crib or pocket where they are removed periodically by various devices and methods, such as dip nets.

(54) "Power" shall mean any mechanical device operated by an engine, motor or other source of energy other than human muscle.

(55) "Purse seine" or "long net" shall mean an encircling type of net that consists of a long wall of webbing without a prominent bunt or bag. The top edge is floated with a series of floats and the bottom edge is weighted and has a drawstring which is threaded through a series of rings along the bottom of the net below the lead line. A purse seine may be set around a school of finfish by 1 or more vessels. Once the school of finfish has been completely encircled, the bottom of the net is pursed with the drawstring so that the weighted line is bunched or puckered.

(56) "Push net" shall mean a modification of the dip net. It is a shallow wire or netting mesh bag attached to a wooden or metal frame which has a handle. It is pushed over the bottom.

(57) "Recreational finfisher" shall mean any person who takes, catches, kills or reduces to possession any species of finfish taken from the tidal waters of this State by said person and who does not sell, trade or barter or attempt to sell, trade or barter said finfish.

(58) "Resident" shall mean any person who has continuously resided within this State for 1 year prior to the date in question.

(59) "Run around gill net" or "ring net" shall mean a gill net that is set around a school of finfish by 1 or more vessels. Finfish are gilled while seeking to escape the net.

(60) "Scottish seine" shall mean a trawl net that is rigged for a type of finfishing that involves herding the finfish with ropes prior to netting. It is similar to Danish seining but the vessel is moving when it retrieves the trawl net and is not anchored.

(61) "Secretary" shall mean the Secretary of the Department.

(62) "Semidrift gill net" shall mean a drift gill net that has 1 end attached to a stake or a vessel.

(63) "Spear" shall mean an instrument with 1 or more pointed barbed or barless prongs or blades that are not detachable from the handle or shaft of the instrument. It may be thrown by hand or propelled by a gun or mechanical device.

(64) "Staked gill net" shall mean a gill net held in place by stakes or poles which have been pushed or driven into the bottom.

(65) "Stop seine" or "stop net" shall mean any type of net, generally a haul seine, which is set across the mouth of a bay, arc of a beach or other restricted body of water that may cause finfish to be stranded behind the net when the tide ebbs.

(66) "Tidal water" shall mean those waters where the lunar tide regularly ebbs and flows.

(67) "Trammel net" shall mean a type of fishing gear that has 3 panels of netting which are suspended from a common float line and attached to a single bottom or weighted line. The 2 outside webs or walls of netting are of a larger mesh than the inside webbing. The inside net has a greater depth and hangs loosely between the outer panels of webbing. A finfish swimming from either side of the fishing gear passes through the larger mesh outer panel and strikes the smaller mesh middle panel and the finfish is carried through 1 of the openings of the other larger mesh panel, forming a sack or pocket in which the finfish is entrapped. A trammel net can be used to fish in ways that are similar to gill nets.

(68) "Trawl net" or "seine trawl" shall mean a bag, cone or funnel-shaped net with or without wings towed through the water or dragged over the bottom by 1 or more vessels or by motor power.

(69) "Troll line" or "troll lines" shall mean a fishing line or lines with 1 or more hooks at the free end of each line that is drawn or towed with a boat.

(70) "Vessel" shall mean any boat of any length or width.

(71) "Weir" shall mean any fixed type of fishing equipment that consists of fences made of wooden stakes or out of other materials constructed in such a manner so as to intercept or attempt to intercept finfish. The fences form successive enclosures called the heart, pound and pocket into which the finfish are directed by a prolonged fence known as a leader.

28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 2985; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 904; 61 Del. Laws, c. 256, § 3; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 362, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 29, § 1.;

Unless otherwise authorized by the adoption of Department regulation or issuance of Division permits, it shall be illegal for any person to fish for any game fish in the tidal waters of the State with any fishing equipment, or by any method, unless it is provided for in the following subdivisions:

(1) A hook and line may be used, and each hook and line shall have no more than 3 hooks or 3 separate lures with hooks;

(2) At any 1 time the number of hooks and lines any 1 person shall be permitted to use to fish for any game fish in the tidal waters of the State shall be no more than 2.

Code 1915, § 2503; 28 Del. Laws, cc. 203, 204; Code 1935, §§ 2986, 2987; 44 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 1; 7 Del. C. 1953, §§ 905, 906; 57 Del. Laws, c. 146, §§ 1, 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

Unless otherwise authorized by the adoption of any Department regulation or issuance of Division permits subsequent to April 27, 1984, it shall be illegal for any person to fish for bait fish in the tidal waters of the State with any fishing equipment or by any method, except a hook and line, a fish pot or a fish trap, including a minnow trap, a dip net, a lift net that is operated without the use of power, a push net, a cast net that is operated without the use of power, a spear, a common haul seine that is operated without the use of power, a gill net being fished in more or less a straight line, and a bait seine or a bag net.

28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 2988; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 907; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 279, § 2.;

Unless otherwise provided by adoption of Department regulation subsequent to April 27, 1984, it shall be legal to fish for bait fish in all tidal waters of this State.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

Unless otherwise authorized by this chapter or the adoption of any Department regulation or issuance of Division permits subsequent to April 27, 1984, it shall be illegal for any person to fish for food fish in the tidal waters of the State with any fishing equipment or by any method, except:

(1) A hook and line;

(2) A troll line;

(3) A dip net;

(4) A lift net operated without the use of power;

(5) A push net;

(6) A cast net operated without the use of power;

(7) A spear or harpoon;

(8) A common haul seine operated without the use of power;

(9) A bait seine;

(10) A bag net;

(11) A hoop net not exceeding 72 inches in diameter;

(12) A fyke net not exceeding 72 inches in diameter and with wings or leaders not exceeding 180 feet in length;

(13) A fish pot or fish trap not exceeding 125 cubic feet and with an escape panel constructed of biodegradable netting and measuring at least 8 inches x 8 inches; and

(14) A gill net being fished in more or less a straight line.

Code 1915, § 2510A; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; 30 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 1; Code 1935, §§ 2989, 2996; 7 Del. C. 1953, §§ 908, 909; 57 Del. Laws, c. 146, § 3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 256, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) For purposes that are scientific or for the propagation of finfish, the Director may issue a scientific permit to any scientific or educational institution, consultant, organization and/or person enabling them to fish, possess and/or transport finfish into or from the tidal waters of this State by the use of fishing equipment and/or methods, during times, and at certain locations, that would normally be considered illegal according to this chapter or any Department regulations.

(b) Prior to the issuance of a scientific permit the applicant shall provide the Director with all the information that is requested by any application supplied by the Division to said applicant.

(c) Each scientific permit shall expire on the date set forth in the permit, or on the last day of the calendar year during which the permit was issued, whichever date is earliest.

(d) Each applicant that is issued a scientific permit shall file an information report with the Director within 30 days after the expiration date of said permit. The content of said report shall be determined by the Director at the time the scientific permit is issued.

(e) Each applicant that is issued a scientific permit shall comply with the marking requirements that are set forth in § 920 of this title.

(f) Each applicant that is issued a scientific permit shall be assigned an identification number by the Division and this number shall be attached and maintained in a legible manner on the fishing equipment in the same manner that is required of fisher under § 921 of this title.

(g) Each applicant that is issued a scientific permit shall not be classified a commercial finfisherman for purposes of this chapter, or any Department regulation, provided that the applicant submits all reports to the Director that are required by this chapter and any Department regulation promulgated pursuant to this chapter or any permit condition.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person who catches or takes any species of game fish from or out of the tidal waters of this State shall sell, trade and/or barter said game fish, unless the Director has authorized such sale, trade or barter by issuing the person a permit.

(b) No person who catches or takes any species of game fish from or out of the tidal waters of this State shall attempt to sell, trade and/or barter said game fish, unless the Director has authorized such attempted sale, trade or barter by issuing the person a permit.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) No individual who catches or takes any species of food fish, from or out of the tidal waters of this State shall sell, trade and/or barter said food fish, unless said individual has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license by the Department.

(b) No individual who catches or takes any species of food fish from or out of the tidal waters of this State shall attempt to sell, trade and/or barter said food fish, unless said individual has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license by the Department.

(c) No individual shall purchase, trade for or barter for any food fish, from another individual who catches or takes food fish from or out of the tidal waters of this State unless said other individual who catches or takes food fish from or out of the tidal waters of this State possesses a valid commercial food fishing license.

(d) No individual shall fish with a drifting gill net unless said individual has been issued a valid commercial food fisher's license and appropriate fishing equipment permits by the Department.

(e) No individual who catches or takes any species of food fish from or out of the tidal waters of this State shall give or transfer said food fish without compensation to another individual for subsequent sale, trade or barter unless the individual giving or transferring said food fish has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license by the Department.

(f) No individual shall sell, trade and/or barter or attempt to sell, trade and/or barter any food fish taken with food fishing equipment for which a food fishing equipment permit has been issued to a recreational finfisher.

(g) Any person who violates subsection (a), (b), (c), (d) or (f) of this section shall be fined not less than $500 for each violation.

(h) Any person who violates subsection (e) of this section shall be fined not less than $25 for each violation. Each food fish purchased, traded or bartered for shall constitute a separate violation.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, §§ 1-4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 579, §§ 1, 2.;

A commercial food fishing license shall be issued to an individual in accordance with the requirements and procedure set forth below in this section:

(1) The fee for a commercial food fishing license for an individual who is a resident of this State shall be $150.

(2) The fee for a commercial food fishing license for an individual who is a nonresident of this State shall be $1,500, except that for a resident of the State of New Jersey, who qualifies as a commercial fisher to obtain a food fishing equipment permit for gill net to fish in only that portion of the Delaware River, east of the center line of the shipping channel, and north of 39 degrees 30' north latitude the fee shall be $150.

(3) When by or pursuant to the laws or regulations of any other state should said state impose any tax, other fee or restrictions on nonresidents for the privilege of commercial fishing for food fish within its boundaries, which tax, or other fee is in the aggregate greater or restriction is greater to include but not be limited to the nonavailability of a license for nonresidents, the similar or identical taxes, other fees, license requirements and restrictions shall be imposed by the Department upon the residents of that state who seek to apply for a commercial food fishing license from the Department to fish within the boundaries of this State.

(4) A commercial food fishing license shall expire on the last day of the calendar year in which said license is issued by the Department.

(5) The Department shall not issue any commercial food fishing license after December 31 in any calendar year.

(6) All commercial food fishing license holders shall file monthly reports of their catch by effort, species and weight on forms provided by the Department.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 184, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 56, §§ 1, 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 496, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 124, § 1.;

(a) A valid food fishing equipment permit issued by the Department is required before any individual shall: fish for food fish in the tidal waters of this State with the fishing equipment specified in subsection (b) of this section or sell, trade and/or barter food fish caught or taken with hook and line. Exceptions to the foregoing may be made as authorized by this chapter or by scientific permit issued by the Director. The Department shall not charge a fee for a food fishing equipment permit for hook and line.

(b) The following food fishing equipment permits and fees shall apply to individuals who fish for food fish in the tidal waters under the jurisdiction of this State. Any resident of this State, 65 years of age or older, who is not a commercial foodfishing licensee, is exempt from the foodfishing equipment permit fees but must comply with all other foodfishing equipment permit procedures and requirements. Food fishing equipment permit fees apply to the appropriate amount of equipment being fished in the water of any point in time:

(1) A common haul seine (more than 300 ft.) — residents $25 per net; nonresidents $250 per net;

(2) A bag-net — residents $10 per net; nonresidents $100 per net;

(3) A hoop net not exceeding 72 inches in diameter — residents $10 per net; nonresidents $100 per net;

(4) A fyke net not exceeding 72 inches in diameter and with wings or leaders not exceeding 30 fathoms (180 ft.) in length — residents $5.00 per fyke; nonresidents $50 per fyke;

(5) A fish pot or fish trap with a funnel opening of more than 4 inches in diameter and not exceeding 125 cubic feet and with an escape panel constructed of a biodegradable netting measuring at least 8 inches x 8 inches — residents $1.00 per pot or trap; nonresidents $10 per pot or trap;

(6) A gill net — residents $5.00 per 50 fathoms (300 ft.) or any part thereof; nonresidents $50 per 50 fathoms (300 ft.) or any part thereof;

(7) A gill net — New Jersey resident — $5.00 per 50 fathoms (300 ft.) or any part thereof.

(c) When by or pursuant to the laws or regulations of any other state should said state impose any tax, other fee or restrictions on nonresidents for the privilege of fishing with similar equipment as set forth in subsection (b) of this section within its boundaries, which tax, or other fee, is in the aggregate greater or restriction is greater to include but not be limited to the nonavailability of a permit for nonresidents, the similar or identical taxes, other fees, permit requirements and restrictions shall be imposed by the Department upon the residents of that state who seek to apply for a fishing equipment permit from the Department to fish with equipment as set forth in subsection (b) of this section within the tidal waters of this State.

(d) A food fishing equipment permit shall expire on the last day of the calendar year in which said permit is issued by the Department.

(e) The Department shall not issue any food fishing equipment permits for gill nets to any commercial fisher unless a commercial fisher can, on the basis of credible evidence provided to the Department, establish that he or she has previously engaged in commercial gill net fishing involving the sale of their catch during any 4 of the 5 calendar years preceding 1984. Food fishing equipment permits for gill nets when issued hereunder shall be renewed on an annual basis, subject to the payment of license and permit fees. No food fishing equipment permits for gill nets shall be issued to new commercial fishers after calendar year 1984 unless the total number of existing food fishing equipment permits for gill nets issued to commercial fishers 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 2-year period with an active commercial fisher 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 2-year period with an active commercial fisher licensed by the Department.

(f) Any person who fishes in the tidal waters of this State and uses at any time more than 200 feet of any fixed net or more than 2 fish pots exceeding the dimensions prescribed by paragraph (b)(5) of this section shall be presumed to be a commercial fisher for purposes of this chapter and any regulations promulgated by the Department.

(g) Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this section, the Department may issue a food fishing equipment permit for a gill net to a resident commercial fisher who provides credible evidence to the Department that he or she has:

(1) Served full-time in the armed forces of the United States outside the geographic boundaries of this State during any of the 5 years preceding 1984 or during the 30-day period in 1984 (April 27-May 27) when gill nets permits were available to commercial fishers, provided that in the 5-year period preceding 1984 the resident commercial fisher met the qualifications for such a permit in the years he or she was not in the armed forces;

(2) Maintained his or her Delaware domicile while serving full time in the armed forces of the United States; and

(3) Prior to serving in the armed forces of the United States was engaged in commercial gill net fishing in the tidal waters under the jurisdiction of this State that involved the sale of his or her catch.

(h) Notwithstanding subsection (e) of this section, the Department is authorized between January 1, 1990, and April 1, 1990, to issue up to 7 food fishing equipment permits for gill nets to residents of the State of New Jersey to fish no more than 600 ft. of gill net in only that portion of the Delaware River east of the center line of the shipping channel and north of 39 degrees 30' north latitude and who provides credible evidence to the Department that he or she has previously engaged in commercial gill net fishing involving the sale of his or her catch during any 4 of the 5 calendar years preceding 1984.

(i)(1) It shall be lawful for any person who has appropriate food fishing equipment permits for gill nets and a recreational drift gill net permit issued by the Department to fish any drifting gill net, subject to the provisions of this subsection.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any recreational finfisher who has been issued a recreational drift gill net permit by the Department to fish a drift gill net in any waters of the State except in a section of the Delaware River, not including any tributaries thereto, located to the south of a line beginning at the tip of the southernmost jetty at the mouth of the C & D Canal and extending due east and to the north of a line beginning at Liston Point and continuing due east during a period of time beginning at 12:01 a.m. on March 15 and ending at 12:00 p.m. on May 10 next ensuing each year.

(3) It shall be lawful for any recreational finfisher who has been issued a recreational drift gill net permit for gill nets and appropriate food fishing equipment permit for gill nets by the Department to fish a single drift net provided it does not exceed 300 feet in length.

(4) An application for a recreational drift gill net permit may be submitted annually to the Department on a form supplied by the Department. Each application shall provide credible evidence that the person applying for the recreational drift gill net permit fished a drift gill net prior to 1984 in the Delaware River for American shad. Applications shall be submitted to the Department prior to 4:30 p.m. on the last Friday in February. The Department shall hold a public drawing of the applicants no later than 4:30 p.m. on the first Friday in March. The first 10 applications drawn will be issued a recreational drift net permit to be valid until midnight on May 10 next ensuing. If any of the 10 selected applicants fail to obtain his or her recreational drift gill net permit from the Department by 4:30 p.m. on the second Friday in March, applicants drawn in numerical order after the first 10 shall be authorized to be issued a recreational drift gill net permit.

(j) The Department shall only issue food fishing equipment permits for hook and line to persons who make application for such permits in calendar year 1996, and who, prior to April 2, 1995, had been issued a commercial food fishing license. Food fishing equipment permits for hook and line shall be renewed annually thereafter, subject to the payment of license fees, and if not so renewed, such permits shall not thereafter be eligible for renewal. To qualify for the annual renewal, the permit holder shall have filed monthly reports as required by § 914(6) of this title for the previous year that indicate at least 100 pounds of food fish were caught during a particular month and sold, traded and/or bartered to or by a person with a valid wholesaler, retailer or restaurant license issued in accordance with Chapter 29 of Title 30. Copies of receipts that are dated and signed by the permit holder and the person with the valid wholesaler, retailer or restaurant license shall be attached to the monthly report as certification of the sale, trade and/or bartering of the 100 pounds of food fish caught by the permit holder.

(k) Notwithstanding subsection (j) 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 2-year period with an active commercial fisher 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 2-year period with an active commercial fisher licensed by the Department.

(l) It shall be unlawful for food fishing equipment other than hook and line and dip nets to be on board a vessel when a person is commercially fishing with hook and line from said vessel.

(m) A food fishing equipment permit for hook and line shall be deemed invalid when the holder thereof is on board a vessel with more than 1 other person who does not possess a food fishing equipment permit for hook and line.

(n) An individual at least 16 years of age may enter into an agreement with an active commercial fisher licensed by the Department to serve as a commercial fishing apprentice to said commercial fisher. 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 1 active commercial fisher at any one time and an active commercial fisher shall not enter into an agreement with more than 1 apprentice at any 1 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 fisher. A commercial fishing apprentice must complete no less than 150 days of commercial fishing activities over no less than a 2-year period. Eight hours of commercial fishing activities shall equal 1 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 2-year period shall be eligible for the following:

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

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

(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; and

(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.

28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 2989; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 908; 57 Del. Laws, c. 146, § 3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 256, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 67, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, § 5; 65 Del. Laws, c. 495, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 496, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 184, §§ 2, 3; 68 Del. Laws, c. 199, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 496, §§ 2, 3; 73 Del. Laws, c. 29, §§ 2-4; 73 Del. Laws, c. 124, § 2.;

(a) There is hereby established a Finfisheries Development Fund, which shall be funded by the following sources:

(1) Moneys received by the Department for commercial food fishing license fees and food fishing equipment permits;

(2) Moneys received from the payment of fines for committing a violation of this chapter or regulations or permits promulgated or issued pursuant to this chapter; and

(3) Moneys received from the sale of the following confiscated or unclaimed items: fishing equipment or any perishable item that has been taken into possession or custody by the Department and could have been used as evidence.

(b) Finfisheries development funds shall be used only for the following purposes:

(1) The development and maintenance of finfishing facilities in the State that are used to aid and assist finfishers;

(2) Actual and necessary traveling expenses incurred by members of the Council in connection with their attendance at Council meetings;

(3) Actual and necessary travel, lodging and food expenses incurred by members of the Council or the designee of the Council in connection with attendance at interstate fish management meetings whenever federal funds are not available;

(4) Postage for mailing notices of public hearings, fishery reports and other materials related to finfisheries management;

(5) Printing materials pertaining to the promulgation of regulations, printing notices of public hearings and other meetings, printing announcements and printing information pertinent to finfisheries management;

(6) Conducting research on, and taking inventories of, finfish of significance to Delaware's commercial and recreational fishers, such research and inventorying to be contracted out or performed by Department personnel.

(c) For the purposes of implementing subsection (b) of this section, all moneys received from the sources set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be deposited at least monthly with the State Treasurer. The State Treasurer shall retain said moneys in a special fund until expended upon proper vouchers of the Department to carry out the purposes of subsection (b) of this section.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 192, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person shall fish with any fixed fishing equipment in tidal waters located outside the mouths of tributaries known as the Salem River, Christina River, Delaware City Canal and Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, and more specifically described as circular areas, each with a 1/2 nautical mile radius from a point of origin at the midpoint of the mouth of each said tributary.

(b) No person shall fish with any fixed fishing equipment in tidal waters located outside the mouths of tributaries known as the Smyrna River, Leipsic River, Mahon River, Little River, Mispillion River and Roosevelt Inlet, and more specifically described as sectors, each with a 1/2 nautical mile radius from a point of origin at the midpoint of the mouth of each said tributary and between a northern angle of 45 degrees northeast and a southern angle of 45 degrees southeast.

(c) No person shall fish with any fixed fishing equipment in tidal water located outside the entrance channel to the Murderkill River and more specifically described as a sector with a 1/2 nautical mile radius from a point located at the established day marker approximately 1 mile east of the mouth of the Murderkill River, and between a northern angle of 45 degrees northeast and a southern angle of 45 degrees southeast.

(d) No person shall fish with any type of net that obstructs navigation or fish with any net that extends more than 1/3 the distance, measured perpendicular, from shore to opposite shore in any river, channel, stream, canal, ditch or any tributary located in this State.

(e) No person shall fish with any type of net, within 300 feet of any constructed dam or spillway on a tidal water river, stream, canal, ditch or tributary located in this State.

(f) No person shall fish with any type of fixed, anchored or stake nets within 150 feet of any other person's legally fixed, anchored or staked net.

(g) No person shall fish with any type of net except a bait seine, a cast net, a dip net, a lift net, a minnow trap or a push net in Delaware's territorial sea within a 1 nautical mile radius from a point of origin at the midpoint of the mouth of the Indian River Inlet or in Delaware's internal waters within a 1/2 nautical mile radius from a point of origin at the midpoint of the mouth of the Indian River Inlet.

(h) No person shall fish with any type of fishing equipment except a hook and line over another person's leased shellfish grounds as provided in Chapter 19 of this title unless said person has permission from the lease holder to fish with other types of legal fishing equipment.

(i) No person shall fish with any type of net except a bait seine, a cast net, a dip net, a lift net, a minnow trap or push net within 1/2 nautical mile of the mean high-water line of the shore of Delaware's territorial sea or within 1/2 nautical mile of the mean high-water line of the shore of Delaware Bay from Cape Henlopen Point to the northern boundary of the Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve, where it intersects with the shoreline of the Delaware Bay, between May 1 and November 30, inclusive, of each year.

(j) No person shall fish with any gill net equal to or less than 200 feet which is anchored, staked or fixed in any way within 1/2 nautical mile of the mean high-water line of the shore of Delaware's territorial sea or within 1/2 nautical mile of the mean high-water line of the shore of Delaware Bay from the northern boundary of the Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve, where it intersects with the shoreline of the Delaware Bay, to the Murderkill River between May 1 and June 30, inclusive, of each year unless said person has been issued a valid commercial food fishing license by the Department.

(k) Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, a person may fish in the Nanticoke River with a drift net that extends more than 1/3 the distance measured perpendicular from shore to opposite shore provided the drift net does not obstruct navigation.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 106, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, § 6; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 437, §§ 1, 2; 72 Del. Laws, c. 363, §§ 1, 2; 76 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1.;

No person shall, except in an emergency, interfere with, break, damage or destroy any fishing equipment that is being used in the tidal waters of this State for the taking of any finfish in a manner provided for by this chapter or any regulation promulgated or permit issued by the Department pursuant to this chapter.

Code 1915, § 2510; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 2998; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 911; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, §§ 7, 8.;

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to fish, use, employ or attempt to fish, use or employ any purse seine to take or attempt to take menhaden in the tidal waters of this State.

(b)-(h) [Repealed.]

(i) Whoever violates this section shall be fined $2,500 for the first offense, and $5,000 for each offense thereafter.

59 Del. Laws, c. 418, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 115, §§ 1-3; 68 Del. Laws, c. 320, § 1.;

(a) No person shall fish with any fixed net in the tidal waters of this State unless said net, pot or trap is marked in accordance with the following criteria:

(1) In the Delaware River and Bay, Atlantic Ocean out to 3 nautical miles, Indian River and Bay, Rehoboth Bay, and Little and Big Assawoman Bays, during the period beginning at 12:01 a.m., April 1 of each year, and ending at 12:00 p.m., November 30 of each year all fixed fishing equipment shall be marked on each end with a minimum marking of a red or international orange flag that measures at least 12 inches x 12 inches on a staff 4 feet, measured from the surface of the water to the bottom of the flag. In addition to the red or international orange flags, there shall be attached to each net between each red or international orange flag white floats visible on the surface of the water at all times that shall measure at least 4 inches in diameter, and 1 such white float shall be located at least 20 feet inside of each required red or international orange flag. During the period beginning at 12:01 a.m., December 1 of each year, and ending at 12:00 p.m., March 31 in the ensuing year, in the Delaware River and Bay, Atlantic Ocean out of 3 nautical miles, Indian River and Bay, Rehoboth Bay, and Little and Big Assawoman Bays, red or international orange floats at least 8 inches in diameter may be substituted for the required end flags on fixed nets. In the tributaries to the Delaware River and Bay, Indian River and Bay, Rehoboth Bay, Little and Big Assawoman Bays and the Chesapeake Bay, a red or international orange float that measures at least 8 inches in diameter or a red or international orange flag that measures at least 12 inches x 12 inches on a staff 4 feet, measured from the surface of the water to the bottom of the flag, is required at any time.

(2) In the internal waters of this State, if more than 1 net is set in a series with shared rigging, said series of nets and associated rigging shall not exceed 500 yards and shall be required to be marked on each end with the required red or international orange flag and white floats as described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(3) In the internal waters of this State all drifting fishing nets shall be marked on each end with a minimum marking of either a red or international orange float that measures at least 8 inches in diameter or by a red or international orange flag that measures at least 12 inches by 12 inches on a staff at least 3 feet, measured from the surface of the water to the bottom of the flag.

(4) In the territorial sea, all nets or series of nets shall be marked in accordance with this subsection.

(5) For the purpose of measuring the length of any net, the top line or float line attached to the net shall be the measurement.

(6) No less than 24 square inches of any reflective material shall be attached and maintained to each red or international orange float or flag staff that is used to mark said nets in all tidal waters of the State.

(7) All fish pots and/or traps shall be marked with white floats that shall be at least 8 inches in diameter.

(8) This subsection shall not apply to minnow traps.

(9) All the flags, floats and reflective material referred to in this subsection shall be maintained in a visible manner at all times during their use in the tidal waters of this State.

(b) No person shall intentionally leave any stake, anchor, line or float in any tidal water for a period of time longer than 14 days after said person or other cause has removed fishing equipment from said stake, anchor, line or float.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 194, §§ 1-4; 67 Del. Laws, c. 309, § 1.;

No fisher shall fish with any food fishing equipment in the tidal waters of this State that is permitted under the provisions of § 915 of this title that does not have attached to it a fisher's food fishing equipment permit number that is assigned by the Department. The permit number shall be attached to all required end red or international orange flags or floats and shall also be attached to all white markers required for fish pots and/or traps. The permit number attached to the aforementioned items shall be maintained so that the permit number is legible and readable at all times during its use. The permit number once attached to the aforementioned items shall be at least 2 inches high, and in block style numerals, and attached in such a manner that it is visible above the surface of the water. Reflective tape may be used to form the license number to be attached to the aforementioned items.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No person shall fish in Delaware's internal waters with any 1 gill net that exceeds 200 yards in length, or fish in said waters with more than 1 gill net in a continuous series when the series of gill nets exceeds 500 yards in total length, unless each 200 yard-long net is separated from another single gill net by a distance of at least 150 feet between the required end red or international orange flags or each 500 yard-long series of nets is separated by a distance of at least 150 feet between the required end red or international orange flags.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) Unless otherwise authorized by a scientific permit issued by the Division, no person shall fish more than an aggregate of 200 feet of gill net, that is anchored, staked or fixed in any way in the tidal waters of this State at any time during a period beginning at midnight on May 10 and ending at midnight September 30 next ensuing during any calendar year, except where otherwise prohibited in this chapter.

(b) The use of any gill net equal to or less than 200 feet which is anchored, staked or fixed in any way shall be further restricted to the area within 1/2 nautical mile of the mean high-water line of the shore of the Delaware River and Bay and to the area within 1,000 feet of the mean high-water line of the shore of the Rehoboth Bay and its tributaries, Indian River and Indian River Bay and their tributaries, Little Assawoman Bay and its tributaries, Big Assawoman Bay and its tributaries, Nanticoke River and its tributaries and all tributaries entering the Delaware River and Bay during a period beginning at midnight on May 10 and ending at midnight on September 30 next ensuing, except where otherwise prohibited in this chapter or by Department regulation.

(c) Unless otherwise authorized by a scientific permit issued by the Division, no person shall fish any drifting gill net in the tidal waters of this State during the period 12:01 a.m. Saturday through to 4:00 p.m. Sunday or on a legal state holiday during a period beginning at midnight May 10 and ending at midnight on September 30 next ensuing during any calendar year.

(d) During the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. April 1 through midnight May 10, no person shall fish more than an aggregate of 1,000 yards of anchored, staked, fixed or drifting gill nets and, furthermore, no more than an aggregate of 1,000 yards of anchored, staked, fixed or drifting gill net shall be fished from any vessel regardless of the number of commercially licensed food fishers on said vessel.

(e) During the period beginning midnight May 10 and ending at midnight September 30 next ensuing during any calendar year, no person shall fish more than an aggregate of 1,000 yards of drifting gill nets, and, furthermore, no more than an aggregate of 1,000 yards of drifting gill nets shall be fished from any vessel regardless of the number of commercially licensed food fishers on said vessel.

(f) Except for gill nets equal to or less than 200 feet which are anchored, staked or fixed in any way, no person shall fish a gill net of any type without obtaining a commercial food fishing license pursuant to § 914 of this title and a food fishing equipment permit pursuant to § 915 of this title.

(g) Residents of the State of New Jersey who possess valid commercial food fishing equipment permits for gill nets shall be authorized to fish up to, but not to exceed, 600 feet of drifting gill net in the Delaware River on the east side of the shipping channel north of 39 degrees 39' north latitude only during a period of the year beginning at 12:01 a.m. on March 15 and ending at 12:00 p.m. on May 10.

(h) In the event a person with a commercial food fishing license and a food fishing equipment permit for gill nets is disabled and unable to deploy or set his or her gill nets, the person shall be issued a written permit by the Department authorizing his or her spouse, child or grandchild to deploy or set said person's gill nets for a period to be specified by the physician who certifies the disability. Such persons shall be limited during their lifetime to a total of 2 years during which their gill nets may be set or deployed by a spouse, child and/or grandchild. For purposes of this subsection, the term "disabled " shall mean a person certified in writing by a licensed medical physician in Delaware to be temporarily unable to perform the substantial and material duties associated with the setting or deploying of gill nets based upon medical evidence.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 279, §§ 3, 4; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, § 9; 67 Del. Laws, c. 184, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 28, § 2.;

(a) No person shall leave fixed fishing equipment that is being fished in the tidal waters of this State unattended for any longer than 48 hours unless inclement weather provides for unsafe navigation.

(b) No person shall leave drifting fishing equipment that is being fished in the tidal waters of this State unattended at any time; insofar that the person fishing said drifting fishing equipment shall remain on his or her vessel and within sighting distance of said equipment.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person shall fish for finfish in the tidal waters of the State with any explosives, chemicals, poisons and/or poisoned baits or other substances or devices employing explosives, electricity, chemicals or poisons, unless it is otherwise specified as a legal means to fish for and/or take finfish in this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division.

(b) The use of electric lights shall be illegal for commercial fishing, except lights required by the U.S. Coast Guard and lights used for illumination for visual purposes.

(c) The Department and its authorized agents may use fish suffocants, shockers and/or similar devices and materials for fish management and/or scientific purposes, provided that written permission to do so is obtained from the Director beforehand.

Code 1915, § 2511; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 2999; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 912; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, § 10; 79 Del. Laws, c. 263, § 1.;

(a) No person shall have in his or her possession and/or bring into this State any finfish, other than menhaden, legally taken in this State or other waters, for the purpose of extracting oil therefrom, and/or for the purpose of converting such finfish into fertilizer. The parts of a processed legally taken finfish not to be used for human consumption, including the entrails, bones, fins and other waste parts thereof, may be further reduced or rendered for use as fertilizer and/or animal feed products.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000, plus the payment of costs, and for any subsequent violation of this section the person shall be fined $2,500, plus payment of costs.

Code 1915, § 2520; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 3008; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 914; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) No person shall fish with or use in the tidal waters of this State any type of trawl net that is operated in any manner by wind or sail power, motor power, hydraulics, pulleys, by being pulled by a power vessel or other mechanical advantage, or any purse seine operated in any manner, or any run around gill net, except as provided by §§ 911 and 919 of this title.

(b) Any person who is determined to be in violation of this section shall be fined not less than $2,000 and not more than $5,000, plus the payment of costs, and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months; and for any subsequent violation of this section the person shall be fined not less than $5,000, plus the payment of costs, and/or imprisoned for up to 6 months.

(c) Any authorized employee of the Department who has probable cause to believe that there is or has been a violation of this section may seize the following items under the following conditions:

(1) Any finfish located, found, retained, taken and/or caught in violation of this section; or

(2) Any other item to be used as evidence in any case to be brought for violation of this section.

(d) Any authorized employee of the Department who has seized finfish pursuant to this section shall comply with § 935 of this title.

(e) Any authorized employee of the Department who has seized any finfish or other items pursuant to this section may seek to have said finfish or items forfeited, in which case the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over the alleged violation if the fair market value of the forfeited finfish or other items exceeds $100, and any forfeiture of the finfish or other items shall be in accordance with the rules of procedure for the Superior Court. The Justice of Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over any violation in which the forfeiture sought is of finfish or other items of $100 or less in fair market value.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, §§ 11, 12; 73 Del. Laws, c. 241, § 1.;

(a) No person who catches food fish outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the State shall land and/or transfer said food fish from said person's vessel to a shore or any facility located in the State for the purpose of transporting, selling, packing and/or processing said food fish, except for taxidermy purposes, unless said person has been issued by the Department a valid commercial food fishing license in accordance with § 913 and § 914 of this title.

(b) Any person who catches food fish outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the State and then has said food fish transported into this State by means other than by a vessel for the purpose of transporting, selling, packing and/or processing said food fish shall not be required to acquire a commercial food fishing license from the Department.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) For the purpose of this section:

(1) "Shark" shall mean any species of the subclass Elasmbranchii, exclusive of the Spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) and Smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis); and

(2) "Shark fin" shall mean the raw, dried or otherwise processed detached fin, or the raw, dried or otherwise processed detached tail, of a shark.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall possess, sell, offer for sale, trade or distribute a shark fin.

(c) Any person who holds a license and permit issued by the Department to take or land sharks for commercial purposes may possess or distribute, but not sell within Delaware, a shark fin taken or landed by that person pursuant to, and consistent with, the terms of that license or permit.

(d) Any person holding a license issued by the Department, or those persons exempt from licensing requirements concerning taking or landing sharks for recreational purposes, may possess a shark fin taken or landed by that person for personal use.

(e) The Department may issue scientific permits pursuant to § 911 of this title permitting possession of a shark fin for bona fide scientific research purposes.

(f) Any shark fin seized by the Department through the enforcement of this section shall upon forfeiture be destroyed by the Department, and not sold.

(g) Changes, deletions, or additions relative to new fisheries subject to this section may be devised and enacted by the General Assembly or by the Department regulatory process.

(h) Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a class B environmental misdemeanor for each offense.

79 Del. Laws, c. 22, § 1.;

(a) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division subsequent to April 27, 1984, no person shall possess any finfish listed in this section or any regulations promulgated by the Department that measure less than the dimensions set forth in this section or any regulation promulgated by the Department, unless said finfish is the legal product of artificial propagation and aquaculture authorized under permit issued by the Division. The dimensions of said finfish shall be the total measured from the tip of its snout to the furthest tip of its tail.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter or by regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division subsequent to April 27, 1984, no person shall possess any finfish in the State unless said finfish has at least the following dimensions:

(1) Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) taken from or caught in Delaware's internal waters shall have a minimum length of 14 inches;

(2) Striped bass taken from or caught in Delaware's territorial sea shall have a minimum length of 24 inches;

(3) Weakfish (Cynoscion regalis): The minimum length of a weakfish shall be 10 inches;

(4) Atlantic croaker (Micropogan undulatus): The minimum length of an Atlantic croaker shall be 8 inches;

(5) Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus): The minimum length of an Atlantic sturgeon shall be 54 inches;

(6) Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus): The minimum length of a summer flounder shall be 12 inches;

(7) Tautog (Tautoga onitis): The minimum length of a tautog shall be 12 inches; and

(8) White perch (Marone americana): The minimum length of white perch shall be 8 inches.

(c) Any person, who comes into possession by purchasing, trading or bartering for, any finfish measuring less than the dimensions set forth in this section or the dimensions set forth in any regulation promulgated by the Department, shall immediately report the possession of said finfish to the Department and then dispose of said finfish in a manner directed by the Department provided that none may be sold, traded or bartered.

(d) [Repealed.]

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 407, §§ 1, 2; 65 Del. Laws, c. 408, § 2; 67 Del. Laws, c. 293, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 55, § 1.;

(a) For purposes of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division, striped bass spawning areas in the State shall mean the Nanticoke River and its tributaries and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.

(b) The Department may promulgate regulations pertaining to spawning area restrictions.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) No person shall take and/or remove any finfish from any fishing equipment that is owned by another person without having received written authority to take and/or remove said finfish.

(b) No person shall attempt to take and/or remove any finfish from any fishing equipment that is owned by another person without having received the express written authority to attempt to take and/or remove said finfish.

(c) No person shall remove legally placed fishing equipment of another person without the written permission of the lawful owner thereof.

(d) No person shall attempt to remove legally placed fishing equipment of another person without the written permission of the lawful owner thereof.

(e) The Division and employees thereof shall have the authority to confiscate and sell any finfish taken in violation of this section. The purpose of any sale of confiscated finfish shall be to determine the fair market value of the illegally taken finfish and prevent the wasting of the perishable resource. The moneys received from the sale of any finfish shall be paid to the owner of the fishing equipment from which the finfish were illegally removed.

(f) Theft of finfish, or attempted theft of finfish, from another person's fishing equipment shall be a class A misdemeanor, unless the value of the finfish is $300 or more, in which case it shall be a class E felony. Whoever violates this section shall be fined and/or imprisoned in accordance with the fines and/or terms of imprisonment specified in Chapter 42 of Title 11 for a class A misdemeanor and a class E felony.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 500, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 28, § 2.;

(a) Any authorized employee of the Department may inspect any fishing equipment placed in the tidal waters of this State.

(b) Any authorized employee of the Department may remove any fishing equipment used in the tidal waters of the State that is not marked, identified and/or being used for fishing according to this chapter or regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division, provided that the Department notify, or attempt to notify, the owner of said equipment when said owner is known, and give such owner the opportunity to remove said fishing equipment.

(c) Any fishing equipment removed from the tidal waters of the State, as provided for in this section, which is not claimed by its owner within 30 days after its removal shall be subject to the following provisions that provide for its disposition by public sale:

(1) After the 30-day waiting period the Department shall advertise the sale of the removed fishing equipment in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the State. The advertisement shall give a brief description of the property and the procedure for the sale thereof.

(2) The sale of the advertised property will be conducted by the Department. The Department shall accept sealed bids for the property, with the property being sold to the highest bid received.

(3) Any moneys received from the sale of the removed property shall be retained by the Department for a period of 1 year after receipt of said moneys, during which time the owner of the removed property may file a claim with the Department for the payment of said moneys. The expenses of the Department for arranging the public sale of the removed fishing equipment may be deducted from any moneys paid to the owner of the removed fishing equipment.

(4) Moneys from the public sale of the removed fishing equipment that are not claimed by the owner of said equipment within 1 year after the receipt of said moneys shall be deposited into the Finfisheries Development Fund.

Code 1915, § 2516; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 3004; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 952; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 62, 63; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

Any authorized employee of the Department, after determining there is probable cause that there has been a violation of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or any permit issued by the Division, may do the following without obtaining a warrant beforehand:

(1) Search, examine and/or inspect any person and/or any person's vehicle, vessel and/or any container or other receptacle in and/or on any vehicle or vessel that is under the control or possession of said person for the purpose of determining said person's compliance with this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division pertaining to the size, limits, sale, purchase and possession of finfish and/or the method of taking finfish;

(2) Detain any person and/or person's vehicle or vessel for a reasonable length of time to conduct any search, examination and/or inspection thereof, as described in paragraph (1) of this section; and

(3) Inspect, search and/or examine any commercial facility in the business of selling and/or storing finfish in the presence of any occupant of said facility to determine compliance with this chapter and any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) Any authorized employee of the Department who has probable cause to believe that there is a violation of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division may seize the following items under the following conditions: Any finfish located, found, retained, taken and/or caught in violation of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division.

(b) Any authorized employee of the Department who has seized finfish pursuant to this section shall comply with the provisions of § 935 of this title.

(c) Any authorized employee of the Department who has seized any finfish pursuant to this section may seek to have the finfish forfeited. If the fair market value of the seized finfish exceeds $100, then the Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over the alleged violation, and any forfeiture of the finfish shall be in accordance with the appropriate rules of procedure of the Superior Court and § 935 of this title. If the fair market value of the seized finfish is $100 or less, then the Justice of the Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction over the alleged violation, and any forfeiture of the finfish shall be in accordance with the appropriate rules of procedure of the Justice of the Peace Courts.

Code 1915, § 2516; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 3004; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 952; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 62, 63; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, § 13.;

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, in view of the perishable nature of fish, any employee of the Department authorized to enforce this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division who seizes any finfish may dispose of said finfish in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) Finfish may be sold, and any person may purchase said finfish for money at or above fair market value;

(2) The moneys received from the sale of the finfish shall be deposited with the Superior Court in which the complaint and/or charges for the alleged violation are to be filed. Thereafter, disposition of the proceeds will be in accordance with the Rules of Civil Procedure for the Superior Court of the State of Delaware. In each case where the Superior Court has declared the finfish and moneys obtained from the sale thereof as being forfeited, all moneys not subject to valid claim by other parties and remaining with the Superior Court shall be deposited by the Superior Court into the Finfisheries Development Fund. Upon the acquittal or dismissal of charges against the alleged violator the proceeds shall be returned to said person; and

(3) The seizure and sale of finfish shall be without prejudice to any other rights and/or remedies provided for by law, contract or agreement, or this chapter or any regulations promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division.

(b) Whenever the Department seizes any finfish, it may elect not to follow the procedures for the disposal of said finfish that are set forth in subsection (a) of this section, and the Department may dispose of said seized finfish in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) Finfish that have been seized after an alleged violation of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division may be sold by the person alleged to have committed said violation;

(2) The proceeds of the sale by the alleged violator shall be deposited with the Superior Court;

(3) Upon the conviction of the alleged violator, the disposition of the proceeds will be in accordance with the procedure set forth in paragraph (a)(2) of this section. Upon the acquittal, or dismissal of the charges against the alleged violator, the proceeds shall be returned to said person; and

(4) Paragraph (a)(3) of this section shall be applicable to any sale of finfish under this subsection.

Code 1915, § 2514; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 3002; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 915; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1.;

(a) The Secretary, the Department and persons authorized by the Secretary shall enforce this chapter and any regulation promulgated by the Department or any permit issued by the Division.

(b) Any person, organization, group, business, corporation, partnership or any other type of entity that violates this chapter or regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division shall be punishable as follows:

(1) If there has been a violation of any provisions in §§ 910, 917, 918, 920, 921, 922, 923, 924, 925, and/or 928 of this title or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division relating to fishing equipment or methods of fishing, each violator thereof shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $200 for each violation, plus the payment of all costs. For any second violation of any provisions in §§ 910, 917, 918, 920, 921, 922, 923, 924, 925 and/or 928 of this title or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division relating to fishing equipment or methods of fishing, each violator thereof shall be fined not less than $200 nor more than $1,000, plus the payment of all costs. For any subsequent violation of any provisions in §§ 910, 917, 918, 920, 921, 922, 923, 924, 925 and/or 928 of this title or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division relating to fishing equipment or methods of fishing, each violator thereof shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,500 plus the payment of all costs;

(2) If there has been a violation of any section of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division other than a provision of §§ 910, 913, 917, 918, 920, 921, 922, 923, 924, 925, 926, 927 and/or 928 of this title or regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division relating to fishing equipment or method of fishing, each violator thereof shall be fined not less than $25 nor more than $100, plus the payment of all costs. For any subsequent violation of any provision of any section of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division, other than a provision of §§ 910, 913, 917, 918, 920, 921, 922, 923, 924, 925, 926, 927 and/or 928 of this title and/or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division relating to fishing equipment or method of fishing within 2 years of any previous violation thereof, each violator shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, plus the payment of all costs. For each violation of any section of this chapter, any regulation promulgated by the Department pursuant thereto, or any permit issued by the Division which involves the illegal taking of a striped bass in the tidal waters of this State, there shall be imposed a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. Each striped bass illegally taken shall constitute a separate violation;

(3) Nothing expressed in this section should be interpreted to limit or supersede the authority of the Secretary and authorized personnel to seize and seek the forfeiture of any finfish and/or other items as provided for in any other provisions of this chapter. The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction of a violation in which forfeiture involves finfish or other items exceeding $100 in fair market value. The Justice of Peace Courts shall have jurisdiction of a violation in which forfeiture involves finfish or other items with a fair market value of $100 or less; and

(4) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the Justice of the Peace Court shall have jurisdiction over any violation of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or any permit issued by the Division.

(c) If any violation of any provision in this chapter or regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division is continuing or threatening to begin, the Secretary may, in addition to having the violator prosecuted in either the Superior Court or Justice of the Peace Court as provided for in this section, seek a temporary restraining order, a temporary injunction or permanent injunction in the Court of Chancery.

(d) Any person, organization, group, business, corporation, partnership or any other type of entity that knowingly makes any false statement, representation or certification in any application, record, report, plan or other document filed or required to be maintained under any provision of this chapter, any permit or any regulation promulgated or issued under this chapter shall be fined not less than $1,000, plus the payment of all costs, and may be imprisoned for up to 30 days or may be fined and imprisoned. The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction over offenses under this subsection. No fine imposed under this subsection shall be suspended.

(e) Any commercial food fishing license holder who does not file a monthly report on his or her catch by effort, species and weight on forms provided by the Department, as required in § 914(6) of this title, by 4:30 p.m. of the last working day of the month following the month for which the report is due, may have his or her commercial food fishing license revoked by the Director until such time when all reporting requirements are fulfilled in a manner acceptable to the Director.

Code 1915, § 2516; 28 Del. Laws, c. 203; Code 1935, § 3004; 7 Del. C. 1953, § 952; 57 Del. Laws, c. 739, §§ 62, 63; 64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 65 Del. Laws, c. 192, § 3; 65 Del. Laws, c. 193, § 14; 67 Del. Laws, c. 310, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

If a commercial fisher during a 1-year period has committed 3 or more violations of any provision of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by the Department or permit issued by the Division and is convicted of said violations, the Department, upon the recommendation of the Council, may suspend or refuse to issue a commercial food fishing license to said fisher.

64 Del. Laws, c. 251, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Unless otherwise provided in this chapter, or by regulations promulgated by the Department, or permit issued by the Division, a fisher shall not have in possession at or between the place caught and the fisher's personal abode or temporary or transient place of lodging more finfish than exceed the following numbers for the species listed:

10 for tautog (Tautoga onitis) or blackfish.

(b) Each finfish of a species in possession that exceeds the number authorized in subsection (a) of this section shall constitute a separate violation.

67 Del. Laws, c. 298, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 374, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Notwithstanding § 938 of this title, it shall be unlawful for any person to possess or retain more than 3 tautog (Tautoga onitis) during the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 1 through and including midnight on June 30 next ensuing except that an individual who free dives without the aid of an underwater mechanical breathing device may take by spear and possess not more than 10 tautog per day during this period.

Notwithstanding § 929(b)(7) of this title, it shall be unlawful to possess any tautog during the period beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 1 through and including midnight on June 30, next ensuing, which measures less than 15 inches long in total length.

(b) Each tautog taken and retained in violation of the provisions in subsection (a) of this section shall constitute a separate violation.

68 Del. Laws, c. 374, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 177, § 1.;

(a) If a fishery management plan approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce or Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission requires the commercial landings of a food fish species to be managed with a quota, said food fish species, if landed in this State by a commercial finfisher, shall not be purchased, sold, traded and/or bartered by a food fish dealer without a food fish dealer permit. The Department shall not charge a fee for a food fish dealer permit.

(b) All food fish dealer permit holders shall maintain log books, supplied by the Department, for those food fish species that have management plans which require commercial landings to be monitored for purposes of a quota. Food fish dealer permit holders shall forward copies of their log book entries to the Department as prescribed by the Department. The log books shall record the following:

(1) The commercial food fishing license number of the commercial finfisher who landed the food fish; and

(2) The number and/or weight, by species, of food fish purchased, traded and/or bartered from each commercial finfisher.

(c) The Department may adopt, amend, modify or repeal rules and regulations to effectuate the policy and purpose of this section.

71 Del. Laws, c. 214, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) If a fishery management plan approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce or Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission requires the landings of a finfish species by headboats and charter boats to be monitored, said finfish species, if caught on a headboat or charter boat, shall not be landed in this State unless the owner or operator of said boat has been issued a headboat/charter boat fishing permit. The Department shall not charge a fee for the headboat/charter boat fishing permit.

(b) All headboat/charter boat fishing permit holders shall maintain a logbook, supplied by the Department, for those finfish species that have management plans which require landings to be monitored. Headboat/charter boat fishing permit holders shall forward copies of their logbook entries to the Department as prescribed by the Department. The logbooks shall contain, but not be limited to:

(1) The headboat/charter boat fishing permit number; and

(2) The number and/or weight, by species, of finfish landed on each date.

(c) The Department may adopt, amend, modify or repeal rules and regulations to effectuate the policy and purpose of this section.

72 Del. Laws, c. 362, § 2.;

(a) Definitions.

(1) "Invasive finfish species" means a non-native finfish species, including the eggs thereof or other biological material, capable of spread, reproduction or propagation, whose introduction or proliferation causes or is likely to cause, as determined by the Department, economic or environmental harm or harm to human health or safety.

(2) "Non-native finfish species" means finfish species that are not naturally occurring in Delaware but are capable of living and reproducing in the wild without continued human agency, including invasive finfish species. Non-native finfish species may include genetically modified native species.

(b) The Department is authorized to authorize, regulate, prohibit, prescribe, or restrict anywhere in the State the acquisition, importation, introduction, possession, transportation, disposition, or release into public or private tidal waters of any invasive finfish species. The Department is further authorized to prescribe and regulate the methods used to take or eliminate invasive finfish species from tidal waters.

78 Del. Laws, c. 319, § 1.;