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Does trap ban = commerial ban?

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This question is about the effect of a proposed new law on commercial fishing in a state:

Situation: (facts)

1 HOOK and line permits (H&L)..... There are only 12 permitted persons (limited entry licensing) in the entire state that can commercially havest "BSB" fish. Together they harvest less than 5% of the total commercial state harvest. Their primary usage is on reef sites.

2. There are aproximately 50 persons/companys that hold licenses (again...limited entry licenses) to harvest BSB fish by use of traps..... Together they harvest about 40% of the state landings....Their usage is split between reef sites and "open bottom" because nets can't be used on reef sites......

3 There are several (25?) limited entry licenses to use trawl nets (TN) for BSB harvest. Together they harvest about 50%. Their usage is 100% on open bottom..because it's impossible to use a net the second tiom on a reef site.... the net is destroyed during its first usage !!!!!!..

4. State is under requirement of federal law [33 USC 2102 (2)] to " Facilite access and utilization by ......commercial fishermen"

5 (Limited entry permiting): State has regulations "on the books" that prohibit the issuance of any more permits of any type !!!. The State is not proposing to change those regulations.

Problem:

The state proposes to ban the use of traps on reef sites, and is maintaining that "commercial fishing" is not being banned from reef sites because commercial H&L will still be permitted ....

Arguement / question:

Since half of the trap landings (20% of whole state) coming from those sites are comming from traps, and only 5% of state landings are comming from H&L, That means that 80% of the 25% coming from the reef sites will be eliminated.

Since the state is also required by federal law [33 USC 2102 (2)] to "facilate access and utilization by....... ..recreational and commercial fishermen ", If the state enacts legislation to ban the use of traps on those sites, won't that place the state be in violation of that federal law ?

i.e Since banning traps has the effect of "effectively banning commercial fishing on the sites"....under law, can it be considered "the same as banning commercial fishing" ???.

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In short, I doubt that it would constitute a ban on commercial fishing although it does put it under circumstances that you could argue has the same effect. But they aren't really stopping anyone from fishing in those areas commercially but instead are restricting the means by which you can do so. If you are seriously concerned about this matter I would recommend seeking out a local attorney who handles law in the fishing or (I suppose) maritime field.

Best of luck.

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