LD 1146, "An Act To Protect Maine's Ocean Waters and Support Regulatory Oversight and the Long-term Health of the Aquaculture Industry", will limit leases, stop transferability of leases, and prompt a commission to evaluate and address concerns with permissive aquaculture leasing.
Highlights from LD 1146
- This bill is a starting point to include all voices in the conversation around Maine’s ocean waters.
- LD 1146 advocates for a new permitting framework for aquaculture leases.
- Currently, we know that 95-97% of the leases are approved by DMR.
- We believe the criteria for approval are so weak it enables the commissioner to grant leases. “unreasonable interference” is too broad, allows for consolidated power, and does not protect Maine's coast.
- The number of staff available for these leases is inadequate especially around monitoring leases that can now be held for 20 years.
- Bill requires that leases revert back to the state as lobster licenses do.
- We need a plan in Maine – aquaculture is good, but the state has no plan for Maine's coast and we have a lot riding on it.
- 1,000 acres is too much – it happened in 2006 when the Marine Resources committee held hearings and allowed it to grow to an aggregate of 1,000 acres.
- We are seeing so much conflict on the water and the state still refuses to have a conversation around it.