2005 Regular Session
To: Marine Resources
By: Representative Frierson, Read, Janus
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-15-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ADD "ECOTOURISM" TO THE MARINE RESOURCES DEFINITIONS SECTION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-15-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-15-3. As used in this chapter, the term:
(a) "Commission" means the Mississippi Commission on Marine Resources.
(b) "Department" means the Department of Marine Resources.
(c) "Domicile" means a person's principal or primary place of abode in which a person's habitation is fixed and to which the person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning after a departure of absence therefrom, regardless of the duration of the absence. The burden of proving domicile in the State of Mississippi shall be on the person claiming that status. A person holding a current driver's license shall be deemed to be domiciled within the state issuing the license. If a person does not hold a current driver's license the following evidence may be considered in establishing, but is not necessarily determinative of domicile: residence for income or other tax purposes, homestead exemption receipt or other means prescribed by the commission. In the case of minors, domicile of the parents shall be used as evidence of the minor's domicile.
(d) "Ecotourism" means travel on a vessel for hire powered by an inboard or outboard motor to areas of natural or ecological interest for the purpose of observing nature.
(e) "Game fish" means cobia, also known as ling or lemonfish (rachycentron canadum). The cobia is classified as game fish.
(f) "Illegal oysters" means:
(i) All untagged shell stock;
(ii) Shell oysters obtained from uncertified shops or dealers or from an unlicensed catcher;
(iii) Oysters obtained from waters not declared safe and sanitary by the department, except those oysters caught by the commission for re-laying or under private leases pursuant to Section 49-15-27;
(iv) Shucked oysters obtained from uncertified shops or repackers.
(g) "Inspector" means the chief inspector, the assistant chief inspector, deputy inspector, bureau director and certified enforcement officer employed by the department.
(h) "Natural reefs" means any bottom under the jurisdiction of the commission of one or more acres on which oysters grow naturally, or have grown naturally, in a quantity sufficient to warrant commercial fishing as a means of livelihood, or have been used in such a manner within a period of ten (10) years next preceding the time the bottoms may come up for determination by the commission.
(i) "Resident" means a person, firm or corporation that is domiciled in this state.
(j) "Seafood" means all oysters, saltwater fish, saltwater shrimp, diamondback terrapin, sea turtle, crabs and all other species of marine or saltwater animal life existing or living in the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi.
(k) "Tonging reefs" means any bottom under the jurisdiction of the commission designated by the commission as an area in which oysters may be taken by use of hand tongs, as provided in Section 49-15-39.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.