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General Laws

Section 38. A person shall not fish for or take lobsters or edible crabs in coastal waters or land the same in the commonwealth without a permit issued by the director or his agent. A noncommercial lobster and crab permit shall authorize the holder and the members of holder’s immediate family residing in the same residence as the holder to fish for, take or land by the use of pots only lobsters and edible crabs for consumption, and not for sale, by himself and the members of his immediate family residing in the same residence as the holder; provided, however, that the holder and such other persons shall not use more than ten traps for such fishing at any one time; and provided, further, that only one license shall be issued to one family in a single household in any calendar year; and provided, further, that for the purpose of this section the term “immediate family” shall mean the spouse, children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters of the holder. A commercial fisherman permit (lobster) authorizes the holder thereof to fish for, take and land lobsters and edible crabs for commercial purposes. No person holding a commercial fisherman permit (lobster) need at the same time hold a noncommercial lobster and crab permit. Upon application to the director, and endorsement on his license, the holder of a commercial fisherman permit (lobster) may have the privilege afforded the holder of any type of commercial fisherman permit issued under section eighty. A commercial fisherman permit (lobster) shall be issued to an individual but it may be endorsed for use on fishing vessels, in which case it shall cover all persons, except skin or scuba divers, on board such vessel. An individual skin or scuba diver may be granted a commercial fisherman permit (lobster); provided, however, no skin or scuba diver shall be allowed to dive for lobster and edible crabs by authority granted by a commercial fisherman permit endorsed for use on fishing vessels. The holder of a commercial fisherman permit (lobster) shall carry on his person or post on his vessel said permit at all times while engaging in fishing. In addition to the above noncommercial lobster and crab permit and the commercial fisherman permit (lobster) there shall be a seasonal commercial fisherman permit (lobster). Such a permit shall be issued to full-time students only, after such verification of student status as the director may determine, and shall allow the holder to take and sell lobster during the period June fifteen to September fifteen and shall limit the holder to the use of not more than twenty-five pots. Except as hereinafter provided, such licenses to catch or take both lobsters and edible crabs shall be granted only to individuals who are citizens of the commonwealth and who have resided therein for at least one year next preceding the date of such license, but no such license shall be issued to a minor under seventeen years of age except with the written consent of his parent, guardian or custodian and at the discretion of the director.

A nonresident of the commonwealth who is a citizen of the United States or who is an alien who possesses an alien registration receipt card issued to him by the United States Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, temporarily residing or intending temporarily to reside in any coastal city or town, and who owns more than five thousand dollars in real estate within the commonwealth as determined by tax records may, in any year, upon payment of the fee required by this section obtain a license to take lobsters or edible crabs during June, July, August and September of such year, for consumption only by the licensee and his family who are so residing. Licenses hereunder, except those granted to nonresidents, shall expire on December thirty-first next succeeding the granting of the same unless sooner made void as provided in this chapter. Each applicant for a license under this section shall state the color scheme of the buoys desired to be used by him, which, if approved by the director, shall be set forth in his license, and all buoys used by him shall be marked accordingly, and all buoys, pots, traps, and lobster cars used by him shall be marked with the licensee’s number assigned to him by the director. The size of said numbers shall be prescribed by regulation of the director. All buoys, pots, traps, and lobster cars that are not marked as required shall be removed from the coastal waters by any officer who is empowered to enforce this section and shall be held for up to six months. If the owner of any such buoy, pot, trap or lobster car fails to claim same within said six months it shall be permanently confiscated and disposed of by the director of law enforcement or his designee for the best interest of the commonwealth. Said director, designee, or officer shall in no way be liable for such removal, confiscation or disposal. It shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this section if a person has in his possession or uses any buoy, pot, trap or lobster car, that has had the license number removed, altered or defaced. No person shall use wooden lobster buoys in the coastal waters after January first, nineteen hundred and seventy-four.

A permittee shall at all times, while acting in pursuance of his permit, exhibit his permit upon the demand of any officer qualified to serve criminal process, and upon failure to do so shall be punished by a fine of not less than twenty-five nor more than one hundred dollars or imprisonment for one month or both.

The director shall state in his annual report the number of licenses of each kind granted under this section.

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