2002 Regular Session
To: Ports and Marine Resources
By: Senator(s) Hewes, Gollott
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-15-64.3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REMOVE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE COMMISSION ON MARINE RESOURCES HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING IN EVERY COAST COUNTY BEFORE ADOPTION OF LIVE BAIT REGULATION; TO REQUIRE THE COMMISSION TO NOTIFY EACH LICENSURE OF A PUBLIC HEARING; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-15-64.3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-15-64.3. (1) It is unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to take, catch or have in their possession within territorial waters of the State of Mississippi shrimp of a size weighing in the raw state less than one (1) pound to each sixty-eight (68) shrimp, except when a valid permit or affidavit of another state identifies the catch as having been taken in non-Mississippi waters, or except in case of live bait shrimp.
(2) It is unlawful to take, catch or have in possession live bait shrimp of a size weighing in the raw state less than one (1) pound to each one hundred (100) shrimp. This provision may be changed by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the commission. The commission may adopt rules, regulations, guidelines and other operation criteria in conjunction with licensing live bait dealers and live bait catcher boats as it deems appropriate to ensure that only bona fide operations will be licensed. The commission shall consult with existing live bait dealers and live bait catcher boat operators before adoption of any regulations and before any future changes. The commission * * * shall hold a public hearing in the county affected by the regulation, but if more than one (1) county is affected, then the commission shall hold a public hearing in Harrison County. The commission shall notify each live bait licensee of the public hearing at least ten (10) days prior to the hearing, by first class mail at the last known address of the licensee.
(3) If a live bait dealer or live bait catcher boat is convicted of a violation of this chapter or a duly adopted ordinance of the commission, the commission may, in addition to punishment duly adjudicated, revoke the license of the vessel or dealer to whom it is issued for a period not exceeding two (2) weeks following conviction of the first offense, not exceeding six (6) months following conviction of the second offense, and up to one (1) year following conviction of the third and subsequent offenses, if the subsequent offenses are committed within three (3) years of the first offense. Upon the revocation of the license, the commission may require the posting of a cash performance bond not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) before the reissuance of that revoked license. The commission may require the forfeiture of that bond upon the subsequent conviction of any violation of this chapter or a duly adopted ordinance of the commission. If a person who posts bond under this section desires to no longer engage in the live bait business, that person shall certify that fact to the commission who shall return the bond. If that person desires to again engage in the live bait business, a cash performance bond may be required before the issuance of a license.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.