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      RS 56:579.1     

  

SUBPART G-2.  MARICULTURE INDUSTRY

§579.1.  Permitting of mariculture in the coastal zone; policy and purpose; permits; rules and regulations; fees

A.  Recognizing the value to the economy of the state of Louisiana of developing a mariculture industry in the coastal zone, and recognizing that a mariculture industry has the potential of employing thousands of Louisiana citizens, thereby decreasing unemployment and the burden that unemployment places on the state fisc, and recognizing that mariculture is compatible with the state's policy for managing and enhancing the renewable resources of the coastal zone, and recognizing that mariculture is compatible with the social and cultural heritage of the coastal area, and that mariculture will provide economic incentive for landowners to undertake management programs that will prevent erosion and deterioration of the invaluable coastal wetlands, it is the policy and purpose of the legislature to provide every method of encouragement and assistance to the wetland owner of the state of Louisiana, to protect the culture and heritage that is unique to Louisiana, to prevent unemployment of Louisiana citizens, to assure adequate food for Louisiana citizens, and to provide for economic stability for those areas of Louisiana so dependent upon the seafood industry.  Without mariculture Louisiana citizens may realize the continuing decline in the quantity and quality of the fisheries resources and related economic consequences of this decline.  To that end, the Legislature of Louisiana shall foster and encourage the implementation of maricultural practices within duly authorized and permitted projects within the coastal zone of the state of Louisiana.

B.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, including but not limited to R.S. 56:8 (Domesticated fish), the secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is authorized to issue permits for maricultural projects within the coastal zone for the development of a mariculture industry inclusive of all phases of the industry.  The department shall have the authority to and may exempt permittees from statutory limitations as to the kind, number, or size of fish which may be harvested or taken, or as to the method of harvesting or taking fish, or seasons or other limitations, restrictions, prohibitions, or regulations governing the management and harvesting or taking of fish, including hatchery breeding, spawning, transportation, implantation, propagation, growout, and harvesting of domesticated fish and other aquatic species when produced under permitted rules and regulations.  The secretary shall not issue any permit for the mariculture of any harmful species of fish.

C.(1)  Permits shall be issued only for areas within the coastal zone on privately owned property and water bottoms, and then only to the landowner or his duly authorized designee.  If a mariculture project requires a coastal use permit from the Department of Natural Resources, no mariculture permit shall be issued until the coastal use permit is obtained.

(2)  Permits shall be issued for the life of the project  if the requirements of this Subpart are maintained throughout the project.

(3)  Applications for permits shall be accepted at any time if the applicant meets the requirements of this Subpart.

(4)  No permit shall be issued for a project located offshore in state waters unless the applicant demonstrates that the project has either been reviewed by marine biologists from Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, the marine fisheries division of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium for Research and Education or that such biologists participated in the development of the project.  No reviewer shall have legal or commercial ties to any corporation or person applying for the permit, nor shall any reviewer be involved in any research grant or exercise that would directly benefit from the results of the review.

(5)  The permit fee for each mariculture permit shall be one thousand dollars.

D.  Applications for permits shall include a plan specifying the total acreage necessary and the method for containment of the fisheries, and procedures for planting, protecting, and harvesting of the fish which shall insure the complete separation of domestic stock from wild stock.

E.  The secretary shall use the following guidelines for permitting the mariculture projects:

(1)  All fisheries utilized in the project shall be purchased from a legal source, and all necessary documentation pertaining to those transactions shall be maintained.

(2)  All facilities shall be available for inspection by the department during normal business hours upon notification by the department prior to inspection.  However, the enforcement division may inspect at any time without prior notice.

(3)  Detailed records shall be maintained and furnished to the department upon request.  The records shall include the following items:

(a)  The number of fish or other species bought and sold.

(b)  The rate and type of food utilized.

(c)  The observed or recorded growth.

(d)  The mortality observed.

(e)  The average depth of water, current, salinity, and temperature.

However, information which would disclose knowledge gained through experimentation that enhances the yield of production may be withheld.

F.  The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall monitor the stocking, growth, and harvest of any fish.

G.  All data obtained from the monitoring of projects and all documents related thereto shall be public and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall make an annual report to the committees on natural resources of the House and Senate on the progress and effectiveness of the projects.

H.  Nothing contained herein shall be interpreted to require activities by Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel which will impede the efficient operation of the enterprise.

I.  The secretary shall charge an annual fee of one thousand dollars for each permit issued under the provisions of this Section.

J.  If work to implement the provisions of this Section has not begun within two years from the date of issuance of a permit authorized herein, that permit shall automatically terminate two years from the date of issuance.

K.  Repealed by Acts 1995, No. 383, §2, eff. June 16, 1995.

L.  Violation of any of the provisions of this Section constitutes a class three violation.

Acts 1987, No. 305, §1, eff. July 5, 1987; Acts 1988, No. 995, §1; Acts 1988, No. 993, §1; Acts 1992, No. 528, §1, eff. June 29, 1992; Acts 1995, No. 383, §§1, 2, eff. June 16, 1995; Acts 2008, No. 280, §1.

NOTE:  See Acts 1988, No. 993, §3, and 995, §3.

NOTE:  See Acts 1990, No. 299, §§1 and 2.  Extension of time to operate under certain permits.



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