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2018 Legislative Session


HB 572 – Oyster Shell Recycling , This bill would raise the cap from $750 to $1500 for oyster shell recycling. Additionally, it would remove the sunset and put the tax credit into effect permanently. A variation of this bill was introduced in the Senate and we supported it with amendments that aligned it to HB 572. We will support this bill with written testimony.



SB 558 – This bill deals with the lifetime revocation of TFLs for certain fishery violations. Currently, DNR is required to permanently revoke a watermen’s license under certain circumstances within 60 days. Many legislators have shared their concern that the penalty is too harsh, especially for first time offenders.   Most importantly, the bill automatically sunsets after 3 years and current statutory regime is reinstated.   This bill aligns the oyster fishery with the current procedures for dealing with striped bass violations, requires DNR reporting and sunsets after three years.  BaySavers has issued a letter of information  which raises our concerns and also offers an amendment that requires DNR to report any actions taken by the judicial branch in addition to DNR’s action.



There are some incredibly bad bills on the horizon including HB 1426 which could decimate the oyster aquaculture industry by prohibiting aquaculture on a Yates bar and another bill that would allow harvesting up to 30 bushels by diving for oysters.