Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5447

Public Act No. 12-176

AN ACT CONCERNING AQUATIC ANIMALS AS FOOD AND THE TAKING OF SCALLOPS FROM THE NIANTIC RIVER.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2012) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Aquaculture producer" means any person who engages in the controlled rearing, cultivation and harvesting of aquatic animals in land-based or marine-based culture systems, tanks, containers, impoundments, floating or submerged nets or pens and ponds.

(2) "Aquatic animals" means fresh or saltwater finfish, crustaceans and other forms of aquatic life, including jellyfish, sea cucumber and sea urchin, and the roe of such animals, and all mollusks, which are intended for human consumption. "Aquatic animals" does not include birds or mammals.

(b) The Commissioner of Agriculture shall license and inspect aquaculture producers. The commissioner may prescribe the length of term, fee and application for such license. To receive an aquaculture producer license from the commissioner, each aquaculture producer shall: (1) Possess a registration with the United States Food and Drug Administration as a food facility, (2) meet all processing standards and inspection procedures for seafood processing facilities, including, but not limited to, compliance with the provisions of 21 CFR 123--Fish and Fishery Products, Subpart A and the United States Food and Drug Administration's Food Code, as from time to time amended, and (3) pass an inspection conducted by the Department of Consumer Protection prior to the issuance of such license by the commissioner.

(c) The Commissioner of Agriculture, in accordance with chapter 54 of the general statutes and in consultation with the Commissioner of Consumer Protection, may adopt regulations to implement the provisions of this section.

Sec. 2. Section 26-287 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2012):

(a) The Waterford-East Lyme shellfish commission shall consist of four electors of each of said towns appointed by their respective boards of selectmen. Annually such board shall appoint an elector as a member of said commission who shall serve for a term of four years from June first in the year of his appointment. Neither of said towns shall be represented on said commission by more than two members of the same political party. Any vacancies that may from time to time occur shall be filled for the balance of the unexpired term by the board of selectmen of the town which, because of such vacancy, has one less member on said commission. Said commission may prohibit the taking of [escallops] scallops, clams and oysters from such portions of the Niantic River as it designates, for a period not exceeding one year at a time, designate, from time to time, the manner in which said shellfish may be taken and license such taking and, in connection therewith, adopt reasonable regulations and fix license and permit fees. When said commission designates any place or places in said river from which the taking of [escallops] scallops, oysters and clams is to be prohibited or designates a new manner in which [escallops] scallops, clams and oysters may or may not be taken, or adopts, rescinds or amends any regulation or license or permit fee adopted hereunder, it shall cause to be published at least twice, in a newspaper having a circulation in each of said towns, a notice describing the place or places upon which such prohibition is to be operative or the manner in which [escallops] scallops, oysters or clams may or may not be taken, or the regulation, license or permit fee adopted, rescinded or amended, and shall post copies of such notices upon the shores of the river. No person shall take any [escallops] scallops, oysters or clams from any grounds from which the taking of the same has been prohibited during the time of such prohibition nor in any manner in violation of any such designation or regulation.

(b) No person shall, at any time, take any [escallops] scallops which may pass through a [two-inch] two and one-half inch ring or more than three bushels of [escallops] scallops in any one day, provided said commission may increase or decrease the daily limit at any time after it has been in force for thirty days.

(c) All constables and other informing officers of either of said towns shall inquire after and prosecute for any violation of this section. For the purpose of enforcing the same, all constables in either of said towns shall have supervision and jurisdiction over that part of the waters of the Niantic River from Golden Spur Bridge southerly to the highway bridge at the Rope Ferry Road, so called, and all offenses committed within said limits, in the same manner and to the same extent as though said portion of said river was within the town within which such officials have jurisdiction.

(d) Said commission may designate special officers for the enforcement of this section whose compensation shall be determined by the commission. All moneys collected by either the town of Waterford or the town of East Lyme under the provisions of this section shall be paid to the commission and used by it for the protection and propagation of [escallops] scallops, oysters and clams and other shellfish in the waters of the Niantic River.

(e) Any person who violates any provision of this section or any regulation adopted pursuant to this section shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ten days or both, and upon conviction the court may order that such person shall not be entitled to a permit or license to take [escallops] scallops, oysters and clams from the Niantic River until the beginning of the second season the river is opened by the commission following such conviction.

Approved June 15, 2012