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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 38B: Commercial licenses; catch data; transfers

Section 38B. All applicants issued a commercial fishermen permit for the taking of lobsters in coastal waters shall document their catch and sale of lobsters at such times and upon such forms as may be determined by the director. Individual catch data so documented shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed except in aggregate form. The director may develop such forms and require such information as he deems necessary in the administration of this section. All such forms shall be signed by the applicant under the pains and penalties of perjury. Failure to submit complete forms as required by this section or falsification of any such form or any application as required by this section may result in a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars and suspension of eligibility for issuance of a commercial permit for a period not to exceed three years. Any permit not renewed as required by this section by July first of each year may be subject to revocation by the division of marine fisheries.

Each year between December first and March first the director shall renew an existing commercial fishermen permit for the taking of lobsters in coastal waters held by any qualified person during the previous year. The director may renew permits to those individuals who have been previously engaged in commercial lobstering and can document that due to personal medical incapacity or other unforeseen circumstances, were unable to renew their commercial lobster permit during the prescribed renewal period. The marine fisheries advisory commission shall promulgate regulations establishing the criteria in which such renewals may take place.

Any commercial fishermen permit for the taking of lobsters in coastal waters may be transferred between members of an immediate family subject to the approval of the director. Permits may be transferred to other qualified applicants subject to regulations promulgated by the marine fisheries advisory commission. Said regulations shall set forth the specific criteria and process in which permits may be transferred and shall address the following concerns:—

(a) the maintenance and stability of a healthy lobster population;

(b) the economic viability of lobstering as a vocation and way of life;

(c) the needs of retiring lobstermen to sell or transfer their business interests;

The director may maintain a list of potential applicants for the transfer of said permits.

Upon the recommendation of the marine fisheries advisory commission, the secretary of the executive office of administration and finance shall set such fees as he deems appropriate to the administration of this section.

Any applicant for the transfer of any existing permit described in this section aggrieved by the decision of the director may appeal that decision to the commissioner whose decision upon appeal shall be final. The commissioner's decision, however, shall be governed by the criteria contained in this section.