PA 18-54—sSB 426

Environment Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING ABANDONED FISHING GEAR IN LONG ISLAND SOUND

SUMMARY: This act allows an authorized representative of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) commissioner to seize derelict lobster gear. It requires the commissioner or his representative to try to notify the gear's last known licensee within 30 days after seizing it. The act allows the commissioner to dispose of the gear if it goes unclaimed, its owner cannot be identified, or there is no identifying marker on it as required by law.

Under the act, “derelict lobster gear” means any lobster pot, trap, warp (a rope or line used to connect gear), or live car (a container used to store caught lobster in the water) found in state waters that does not have, as required, the (1) current Connecticut commercial license number branded on it and (2) current or previous year's trap tag attached to it.

Existing law, unchanged by the act, allows the commissioner or his representative to seize and dispose of any lobster gear that is not branded with the Connecticut commercial license number (CGS 26-157a). Existing regulations also allow DEEP to seize and dispose of a lobster pot, trap, or similar device with a defaced or obliterated license number (Conn. Agencies Regs. 26-157c-2(f)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018