Apr 27, 2009

Marine habitat bill - Maine legislature shd remove "licence" section

I personally oppose LD 1331 An Act Regarding Saltwater Recreational Fishing.
A
s presently worded

The marine recreational license portion of the bill is unnecessary and is a direct affront to the Maine Public Trust Doctrine as laid out in statute and common law for shoreside recreational or personal fisheries.

Why? Because it removes the "Fishing" part of the "Fishing, Fowling and Navigation" public's right to use of the intertidal shore.

That right, under natural law and under Maine statute , is the right to hunt and gather wild animals plants along the shore for personal use -the most basic human relationship with the Sea

Regulated, to be sure, but not subject to earning permission through a licensing system.

Instead it is an unimpeded right for Mainers.

Here is the Maine statute on the Public Interest
http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/12/title12ch202-A.pdf

I do support the second part of LD 1331 establishing the Marine Recreational Fisheries and Habitat Advisory Council. Nearshore marine habitat is small compared to the greater ocean. It needs attention. Badly

The protection of nearshore marine habitat - kelp, eelgrass, burrow-filled soft bottom, rockly ledge, sandy gullies and the whole coastal water column is critical. These are the waters resorted to by most recreational fishermen and women. The habitat for the species they seek needs as careful oversight as do the habitats of the fishes recreationally sought in Maine's lakes, great ponds, rivers and streams.

the rest of LD 1331should sensibly be dropped and a simple registration system set up. this has been proposed in LD 1432 An Act To Create a Saltwater Recreational Fishing Registry. This , if enacted would very well suffice to carry out the DMR's data collection purposes for recreational marine fishing.

This is similar to in some ways to why it is forbidden to Maine government to require a license to operate a newspaper or other newsmedia outlet - giving the goverment power to license the media makes it possible to shut it down by 'withdrawing' the license.

Some things are too precious to be subject to that. Access to the fishes of the sea for personal use and enjoyment is one of them.

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