A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT TO DESIGNATE RED DRUM, SPOTTED SEA TROUT, AND STRIPED BASS AS COASTAL GAME FISH; TO COMPENSATE COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN FOR CERTAIN LOSSES DUE TO COASTAL GAME FISH DESIGNATIONS; TO INCREASE COASTAL RECREATIONAL FISHING LICENSE FEES; TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THE MARINE FISHERIES OBSERVER PROGRAM; AND TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE DREDGING OF SHALLOW DRAFT NAVIGATION CHANNELS.
Enacts new GS 113-192 designating red drum, spotted sea trout, and striped bass as coastal game fish. These species may only be taken by hook-and-line in waters designated for coastal game fish, many not be bought or exchanged, and may not be possessed for the purpose of sale, barter, exchange or transport in commerce within the state or export from the state. Enumerates four exceptions in subsection (c) to allow purchase, sale, barter, exchange, possession and transport of these fish.
Requires the Marine Fisheries Commission to make mitigation payments from the NC Marine Resources Fund to commercial fishermen who can demonstrate actual financial losses due to a coastal game fish designation. Requires mitigation payments to be made for specified circumstances. Payments are limited to a total of $1 million.
Amends GS 113-174.2(c) increasing the Annual Resident Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL) from $15 to $20, the Annual Nonresident CRFL from $30 to $40, the Ten-Day Resident CRFL from $5 to $10, and the Ten-Day Nonresident CRFL from $10 to $20.
Appropriates $1 million for 2013-14 from the General Fund to the Division of Marine Fisheries for the Marine Fisheries Observer Program.
Amends GS 105-449.126 adding "Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging Fund" (Fund) to the title and adding subsection (b). Under subsection (b) the Secretary must credit to the Fund one-half of one percent of the amount allocated to the Highway Fund from the excise tax on motor fuel, to be used for dredging activities described in new GS 143-215.73F.
Enacts GS 143-215.73F establishing the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging Fund as a special revenue fund. Revenue in the Fund may only be used to provide the state's share of the cost associated with any dredging project designed to keep a shallow draft navigation channel navigable and safe. Projects must be cost-shared with non-state dollars on a one-to-one basis. Defines shallow draft navigation channel.
Effective July 1, 2013.
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