Presenter: Paul Hammerschmidt

Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Action
Proposed Finfish License Limitation Program
April 2000

I. Discussion: Responsibility for establishing provisions enabling a commercial finfish fishery license limitation program is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 47, Commercial Fishing Licenses authorized by passage of Senate Bill 1303 in the 76th Legislature. Further provisions establishing changes in seasons, bag limits, means and methods for taking wildlife resources is delegated to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission under Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 61, Uniform Wildlife Regulatory Act (Wildlife Conservation Act of 1983).

Proposed rule changes include the creation of a Finfish Fishery Proclamation, ' 58.301 - ' 58.304, which creates the elements of a finfish license management program including rules to establish: a commercial finfish fishing license, eligibility requirements to receive the license in the 2000-2001 license year and subsequent years, provisions for transfer of licenses, the number of licenses an individual may possess, and rules regarding license requirements when commercial finfish fishing. A Review Board made up of 9 members distributed proportionally to historical finfish fishing license holders is created to review and advise the Department regarding appeal and hardship cases for eligibility into the license management program. The provisions for a license buyback program are established which allows the Department to purchase and retire commercial finfish fishing licenses in the future.

Proposed rule changes in the Finance Proclamation, ' 53.6, establish license fees, transfer fees, and duplicate license fees for resident and non-resident commercial finfish fisherman’s license. In the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation, ' 65.72 Fish, rules proposed define marking requirements for, and establish maximum numbers of commercial and recreational trotlines. In the Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation, ' 65.78 Crabs and Ghost Shrimp, rules proposed define marking requirements for, and establish maximum numbers of crab traps used by commercial finfish fishermen. These rules regarding marking and placement of trotlines and crab traps, are designed to reduce conflict and are enforcement of existing regulations.

The rule changes combine to create a finfish fishery license management program and should provide increasing social and economic benefits for the finfish fishery in Texas. The program should stabilize effort in the fishery, thus creating a more stable and economically viable industry. The program should also provide the mechanisms needed to ensure reduction of effort through time, allowing for the long-term recovery and protection of the finfish fishery.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Regulations Committee adopt the following motion:

"The Regulations Committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes staff to carry the proposed regulation changes to the full Commission for consideration for adoption."

Attachments – 4

1. Exhibit A - Finfish Fishery Proclamation
2. Exhibit B - Finance proclamation
3. Exhibit C - Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation, §65.72 Fish and §65.78 Crabs and Ghost Shrimp.
4. Exhibit D - Fiscal Note (Exhibit D - Available upon request.)


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit A

Finfish Fishery Proclamation

Title 31: NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
Part 2: TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
Chapter 58: OYSTERS AND SHRIMP SALTWATER COMMERCIAL FISHERIES

Subchapter D: STATEWIDE FINFISH FISHERY PROCLAMATION

'58.301: Finfish License Management Program

Delegation of Authority. The Commission delegates power and authority to the executive director to administer the Finfish License Management

'58.302: Display of License

(a) A boat operated for the purposes of commercial finfish fishing is required to have a commercial finfish fisherman's license plate issued under this subchapter prominently displayed as to be clearly visible from both sides of the boat.

(b) No more than one set of commercial finfish fisherman's license plates may be on board a commercial finfish fishing boat at any one time.

'58.303: License Transfer.

A commercial finfish fisherman's license may be transferred at any time.

'58.304: License Buyback Program

(a) Delegation of Authority. The commission delegates power and authority to the executive director to administer the Finfish License Buyback Program.

(b) Twenty percent of commercial finfish fisherman's license and commercial finfish fisherman's license transfer fees shall be set aside to be used only for the purpose of buying back commercial finfish fisherman's licenses from a willing license holder.

(c) License buyback application period.

(1) The department will open license buyback bid application periods (hereafter referred to as application) if available funds permit.

(2) The department shall establish during each application period a deadline for receipt of all applications.

(d) License buyback application requirements.

(1) The department shall consider all applications to the Finfish License Buyback Program provided the applicants meet the following requirements:

(A) A completed License Buyback Application form furnished by the department has been submitted to the Department by the application deadline;

(B) The applicant is the owner of the license submitted for buyback; and

(C) The applicant has submitted to the Department copies of all supplemental information as required in this subsection.

(2) A completed License Buyback Application shall contain:

(A) full name of the applicant;

(B) current address of applicant's residence;

(C) social security number of applicant;

(D) a copy of legal documentation that:

(i) documents applicant holds the sole rights and privileges to the license; or

(ii) documents that all members of a partnership or association, or each officer of a corporation, and the owner of a majority of a corporation's corporate stock, are in agreement to apply to the license buyback program.

(E) a copy of current commercial finfish fisherman's license; and

(F) if required, the applicant's bid offer, in U.S. dollars.

(3) Department records will be used to verify all information supplied by or pertaining to the applicant's history in the finfish fishery and in cases where the applicant has not provided adequate information for proper consideration of the application.

(e) Finfish license buyback criteria.

(1) The department may establish criteria each license year which will be used to determine qualifications for license buyback.

(2) The department may consider:

(A) duration of participation in fishery prior to enactment of Parks and Wildlife Code, ''47.001-47.086;

(B) amount of funds accumulated in the Finfish License Buyback Account;

(C) number of commercial finfish fisherman's licenses in the fishery issued in the license year of the specific bid offer application period;

(D) bid offers from previous application periods;

(E) established open market prices for licenses; and

(F) other relevant factors.

(f) Application Ranking Procedures.

(1) Ranking values will be assigned to all applications based on the above criteria.

(2) The Department will purchase licenses beginning with the highest ranking to the lowest.

(3) If bid offers are equally ranked, the Department will rank according to the ascending alphabetical order of the applicant's last name.

(g) Notification of acceptance or rejection of application.

(1) The department will notify each applicant in writing within 45 days of receipt of application regarding acceptance or rejection of application bid offer.

(2) Applicants whose bids are accepted must then notify the department of their intent to accept or reject the offer from the department within 15 days of the postmark of the notification letter sent by the department.

(3) The unsuccessful applicant may withdraw, resubmit, or amend an application for consideration during any future application periods.

(4) The department will continue to purchase in rank order as the buyback fund permits.

(h) Delegation of purchasing authority. The department may designate other qualified agents to purchase licenses on behalf of the department provided all purchased licenses are surrendered to the department and retired.


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit B

Finance Proclamation

Title 31: NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
Part 2: TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
Chapter 53: FINANCE

Subchapter A: LICENSE FEES AND BOAT AND MOTOR FEES

'53.6: Commercial Fishing Licenses and Tags

(a) Shrimping licenses. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter:

(1) Licenses:

(A) resident commercial gulf shrimp boat (type 330)—$275;

(B) resident commercial bay shrimp boat (type 336)—$195;

(C) resident commercial bait-shrimp boat (type 337)—$195;

(D) resident commercial shrimp boat captain's (type 333)—$25;

(E) nonresident commercial gulf shrimp boat (type 430)—$1,025;

(F) nonresident commercial bay shrimp boat (type 436)—$525;

(G) nonresident commercial bait-shrimp boat (type 437)—$525; and

(H) nonresident commercial shrimp boat captain's (type 433)—$100.

(2) License transfers:

(A) resident commercial gulf shrimp boat license transfer (type 383)—$5.00;

(B) resident commercial bay shrimp boat license transfer (type 366)—$195;

(C) resident commercial bait-shrimp boat license transfer (type 367)—$195;

(D) nonresident commercial gulf shrimp boat license transfer (type 483)—$5.00;

(E) nonresident commercial bay shrimp boat license transfer (type 466)—$195; and

(F) nonresident commercial bait-shrimp boat license transfer (type 467)—$195.

(3) Duplicate License plates:

(A) resident commercial gulf shrimp boat (type 390)—$5.00;

(B) resident commercial bay shrimp boat (type 396)—$5.00;

(C) resident commercial bait-shrimp boat (type 397)—$5.00;

(D) nonresident commercial gulf shrimp boat (type 490)—$5.00;

(E) nonresident commercial bay shrimp boat (type 496)—$5.00; and

(F) nonresident commercial bait-shrimp boat (type 497)—$5.00.

(b) Oystering licenses. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter.

(1) Licenses:

(A) resident commercial oyster boat (type 306)—$350;

(B) resident sport oyster boat (type 328)—$10;

(C) resident commercial oyster captain's (type 309)—$25;

(D) resident commercial oyster fisherman's (type 370)—$100;

(E) nonresident commercial oyster boat (type 406)—$1,400;

(F) nonresident sport oyster boat (type 428)—$10;

(G) nonresident commercial oyster boat captain's (type 409)—$100; and

(H) nonresident commercial oyster fisherman's (type 470)—$250.

(2) License transfers:

(A) resident commercial oyster boat transfer (type 386)—$5.00; and

(B) nonresident commercial oyster boat transfer (type 486)—$5.00.

(3) Duplicate License plates:

(A) resident commercial oyster boat (type 395)—$5.00; and

(B) nonresident commercial oyster boat (type 495)—$5.00.

(c) General, finfish, menhaden, mussel, clam, and miscellaneous licenses.

(1) Licenses. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996:

(A) resident commercial fishing boat (type 304)—$15;

(B) commercial fishing boat (menhaden only) (type 325)—$3,500;

(C) resident general commercial fisherman's (type 372)—$20;

(D) resident commercial finfish fisherman's (type 371)—$75;

(E) (D) resident commercial mussel and clam fisherman's (type 320)—$30;

(F) (E) resident shell buyer's (type 324)—$100;

(G) (F) nonresident commercial fishing boat (type 404)—$60;

(H) (G) nonresident general commercial fisherman's (type 340)—$150;

(I) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's (type 361)—$150;

(J) (H) nonresident commercial mussel and clam fisherman's (type 420)—$800; and

(K) (I) nonresident shell buyer's (type 424)—$1,500.

(2) Licenses and permits. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1997, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial fishing boat (type 304)—$15;

(B) class A menhaden boat (type 325)—$3,500;

(C) class B menhaden boat (type 329)—$50;

(D) resident general commercial fisherman's (type 372)—$20;

(E) resident commercial finfish fisherman's (type 371)—$75;

(F) (E) resident commercial mussel and clam fisherman's (type 320);

(G) (F) resident shell buyer's (type 324)—$100;

(H) (G) nonresident commercial fishing boat (type 404)—$60;

(I) (H) nonresident general commercial fisherman's (type 340)—$150;

(J) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's (type 361)—$150;

(K) (I) nonresident commercial mussel and clam fisherman's (type 420)—$800;

(L) (K) nonresident shell buyer's (type 424)—$1,500;

(M) (L) menhaden fish plant permit (type 326)—$150; and

(N) (M) mussel dredge fee (type 323)—$30.

(3) License transfers. The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial fishing boat license transfer (type 384)—$5.00; and

(B) nonresident commercial fishing boat license transfer (type 484)—$5.00.

(4) Duplicate license plates. The following duplicate license plate fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1996, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial fishing boat (type 394)—$5.00; and

(B) nonresident commercial fishing boat (type 494)—$5.00.

(d) Crabbing licenses.

(1) Licenses and permits. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1998, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial crab fisherman's (type 338)—$500; and

(B) nonresident commercial crab fisherman's (type 438)—$2,000.

(2) License transfers. The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1998, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial crab fisherman's (type 368)—$500; and

(B) nonresident commercial crab fisherman's (type 468)—$2,000.

(3) Duplicate license plates. The following duplicate license plate fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 1998, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial crab fisherman's (type 338)—$5.00; and

(B) nonresident commercial crab fisherman's (type 438)—$5.00.

(e) Finfishing licenses.

(1) Licenses and permits. The following license fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2000, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial finfish fisherman's (type xxx)—$300; and

(B) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's (type xxx)—$1,200.

(2) License transfers. The following license transfer fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2000, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial finfish fisherman's (type xxx)—$300; and

(B) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's (type xxx)—$1,200.

(3) Duplicate license plates. The following duplicate license plate fee amounts are effective for the license year beginning September 1, 2000, and thereafter:

(A) resident commercial finfish fisherman's (type xxx)—$5.00; and

(B) nonresident commercial finfish fisherman's (type xxx)—$5.00.


Commission Agenda Item No. 4
Exhibit C

Statewide Hunting and Fishing Proclamation

Title 31: NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION
Part 2: TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT
Chapter 65: STATEWIDE HUNTING AND FISHING PROCLAMATION

'65.72. Fish

(a) - (b) NO CHANGE

(c) Devices, means and methods.

(1) - (4) NO CHANGE

(5) Device Restrictions

(A) - (P) NO CHANGE

(Q) Trotline

(i) - (iii) NO CHANGE

(iv) In salt water:

(I) It is unlawful to use a trotline:

(-a-) NO TEXT CHANGE

(-b-) NO TEXT CHANGE

(-c-) not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a yellow floating buoy not less than six inches in height and six inches in width attached to end fixtures. All trotline floats must be yellow.

(-d-) (-c-) NO TEXT CHANGE

(-e-) (-d-) NO TEXT CHANGE

(-f-) (-e-) NO TEXT CHANGE

(-g-) (-f-) NO TEXT CHANGE

(II) NO CHANGE

(III) It is unlawful to fish for commercial purposes:

(-a-) with more than 20 trotlines at one time;

(-b-) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a floating yellow buoy not less that six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to end fixtures;

(-c-) any trotline that is not marked with yellow flagging attached to stakes or with a yellow buoy bearing the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to end fixtures;

(-d-) any trotline that is marked with yellow flagging or with a buoy bearing a commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number other than the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number displayed on the finfish fishing boat;

(IV) It is unlawful to fish for non-commercial purposes:

(-a-) with more than 1 trotline at any time;

(-b-) any trotline that is not marked with a floating yellow buoy not less that six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width, bearing a two-inch wide stripe of contrasting color, attached to end fixtures;

(R) NO CHANGE

'65.78. Crabs and Ghost Shrimp

(a) - (c) NO CHANGE

(d) Devices, means and methods.

(1) NO CHANGE

(2) Only the following means and methods may be used for taking crabs:

(A) NO CHANGE

(B) Crab trap. It is unlawful to:

(i) fish for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial crab fisherman's license with more than 200 crab traps at one time;

(ii) fish for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial finfish fisherman's license with more than 20 crab traps at one time;

(ii) (iii) fish for non-commercial purposes with more than six crab traps at one time;

(iii) (iv) fish a crab trap in the fresh waters of this state;

(iv) (v) fish a crab trap that:

(I) - (III) NO CHANGE

(v) (vi) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial crab fisherman's license: that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less that six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

(vi) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes that is not marked with a white buoy bearing the commercial crab fisherman=s license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

(vii) fish a crab trap that is marked with a buoy bearing a commercial crab fisherman=s license plate number other than the commercial crab fisherman=s license plate number displayed on the crab fishing boat;

(I) that is not marked with a floating white buoy not less that six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

(II) that is not marked with a white buoy bearing the commercial crab fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

(III) that is marked with a buoy bearing a commercial crab fisherman's license plate number other than the commercial crab fisherman's license plate number displayed on the crab fishing boat;

(vii) fish a crab trap for commercial purposes under authority of a commercial finfish fisherman's license:

(I) that is not marked with a floating yellow buoy not less that six inches in height, six inches in length, and six inches in width attached to the crab trap;

(II) that is not marked with a yellow buoy bearing the letter ‘F’ and the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number in letters of a contrasting color at least two inches high attached to the crab trap;

(III) that is marked with a buoy bearing a commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number other than the commercial finfish fisherman's license plate number displayed on the finfish fishing boat;

(viii) - (xiv) NO CHANGE

(C) - (D) NO CHANGE


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