A bill introduced by Senator Jose Terlaje aims to preserve sustainability and food security through a comprehensive fish and game regulation reform.
PNC’s Althea Engman has more on this story
In collaboration with the Conservation Office of the Department of Agriculture, Bill 322-36 reforms the fish and game regulations to better enforce existing statutes by reclassifying certain violations as a citation and reclassifying certain other violations as felonies.
Some of the changes include changing the charge for not wearing an orange vest while hunting from a misdemeanor to a citation violation, punishable by a ticket and fine and because this charge has not historically been charged as a criminal offense, the citation would allow for real-world consequences and deterrent to this violation of hunting laws.
Among other changes, this bill would also increase the charge for using explosives or poisons while fishing from a misdemeanor to a felony moreover the bill also allows conservation Officers to seize and impound vessels and arrest crew involved with commercial overfishing in our marine preserves, which provide a sustainable breeding ground for fish that our local fisherman and population depend on for food.
In addition, the bill also allows for the selling of locally caught octopus, which was previously illegal as well as placing limits on the harvesting of sea cucumbers from 100 per person per day to 5 per person per day.
In a press release, Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje said that “Our marine preserves are an important part of maintaining a sustainable fishing stock by providing protected breeding grounds. Illegal commercial overfishing is threatening the sustainability of our fish stock and this bill provides our conservations officers the teeth in the law to protect our marine life for our local fishermen now and in the future,” and added that “Protecting the sustainability of our marine life and game animals are integral to our food security.”
Reporting for PNC News
I’m Althea Engman