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§20-8-1  Entry into compact authorized – Text. –

Published: 2015

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Fish and Wildlife


Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Compact

SECTION 20-8-1

   § 20-8-1  Entry into compact authorized

– Text. –

The governor of this state is hereby authorized and directed to execute a

compact on behalf of the state of Rhode Island with any one or more of the

states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New

Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia,

and Florida and with such other states as may enter into the compact, legally

joining therein in the form substantially as follows:


   The contracting states solemnly agree:


   The purpose of this compact is to promote the better

utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the Atlantic

seaboard by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection

of such fisheries, and by the prevention of the physical waste of the fisheries

from any cause. It is not the purpose of this compact to authorize the states

joining herein to limit the production of fish or fish products for the purpose

of establishing or fixing the price thereof, or creating and perpetuating



   This agreement shall become operative immediately as to those

states executing it whenever any two or more of the states of Maine, New

Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,

Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and

Florida have executed it in the form that is in accordance with the laws of the

executing state and the congress has given its consent. Any state contiguous

with any of the aforementioned states and riparian upon waters frequented by

anadromous fish, flowing into waters under the jurisdiction of any of the

aforementioned states, may become a party hereto as hereinafter provided.


   Each state joining herein shall appoint three (3)

representatives to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the

Atlantic states marine fisheries commission. One shall be the executive officer

of the administrative agency of such state charged with the conservation of the

fisheries resources to which this compact pertains or, if there be more than

one (1) officer or agency, the official of that state named by the governor

thereof. The second shall be a member of the legislature of such state

designated by the commission or committee on interstate co-operation of such

state, or if there be none, or if said commission on interstate co-operation

cannot constitutionally designate the said member, such legislator shall be

designated by the governor thereof; provided, that if it is constitutionally

impossible to appoint a legislator as a commissioner from such state, the

second member shall be appointed by the governor of such state in his or her

discretion. The third shall be a citizen who shall have a knowledge of and

interest in the marine fisheries problem to be appointed by the governor. This

commission shall be a body corporate with the powers and duties set forth



   The duty of the said commission shall be to make inquiry and

ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances and

conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about the conservation and the

prevention of the depletion and physical waste of the fisheries, marine, shell

and anadromous, of the Atlantic seaboard. The commission shall have power to

recommend the co-ordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several

states within their respective jurisdictions to promote the preservation of

those fisheries and their protection against overfishing, waste, depletion or

any abuse whatsoever and to assure a continuing yield from the fisheries

resources of the aforementioned states.

   To that end the commission shall draft and, after

consultation with the advisory committee hereinafter authorized, recommend to

the governors and legislatures of the various signatory states legislation

dealing with the conservation of the marine, shell and anadromous fisheries of

the Atlantic seaboard. The commission shall, more than one (1) month prior to

any regular meeting of the legislature in any signatory state, present to the

governor of the state its recommendations relating to enactments to be made by

the legislature of that state in furthering the intents and purposes of this


   The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent

administrative agencies in the states party hereto with regard to problems

connected with the fisheries and recommend the adoption of such regulations as

it deems advisable.

   The commission shall have power to recommend to the states

party hereto the stocking of the waters of such states with fish and fish eggs

or joint stocking by some or all of the states party hereto and when two or

more of the states shall jointly stock waters the commission shall act as the

co-ordinating agency for such stocking.


   The commission shall elect from its number a chairman and a

vice chairman and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such

officers and employees as may be required to carry the provisions of this

compact into effect and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications

and compensation. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the

conduct of its business. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for

the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place but must meet

at least once a year.


   No action shall be taken by the commission in regard to its

general affairs except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole

number of compacting states present at any meeting. No recommendation shall be

made by the commission in regard to any species of fish except by the

affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states which have an interest

in such species. The commission shall define what shall be an interest.


   The fish and wildlife service of the department of the

interior of the government of the United States shall act as the primary

research agency of the Atlantic states marine fisheries commission co-operating

with the research agencies in each state for that purpose. Representatives of

the said fish and wildlife service shall attend the meetings of the commission.

   An advisory committee to be representative of the commercial

fishers and the salt-water anglers and such other interests of each state as

the commission deems advisable shall be established by the commission as soon

as practicable for the purpose of advising the commission upon such

recommendations as it may desire to make.


   When any state other than those named specifically in article

II of this compact shall become a party thereto for the purpose of conserving

its anadromous fish in accordance with the provisions of article II the

participation of such state in the action of the commission shall be limited to

such species of anadromous fish.


   Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit the

powers of any signatory state or to repeal or prevent the enactment of any

legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by any signatory state

imposing additional conditions and restrictions to conserve its fisheries.


   Continued absence of representation or of any representative

on the commission from any state party hereto shall be brought to the attention

of the governor thereof.


   The states party hereto agree to make annual appropriations

to the support of the commission in proportion to the primary market value of

the products of their fisheries, exclusive of cod and haddock, as recorded in

the most recent published reports of the fish and wildlife service of the

United States department of the interior, provided, no state shall contribute

less than two hundred dollars ($200) per annum and the annual contribution of

each state above the minimum shall be figured to the nearest one hundred

dollars ($100).

   The compacting states agree to appropriate initially the

annual amounts scheduled below, which amounts are calculated in the manner set

forth herein, on the basis of the catch record of 1938. Subsequent budgets

shall be recommended by a majority of the commission and the cost thereof

allocated equitably among the states in accordance with their respective

interests and submitted to the compacting states.

   Schedule of Initial Annual State Contributions.

   Maine $  700

   New Hampshire 200

   Massachusetts 2300

   Rhode Island 300

   Connecticut 400

   New York 1300

   New Jersey 800

   Delaware 200

   Maryland 700

   Virginia 1300

   North Carolina 600

   South Carolina 200

   Georgia 200

   Florida 1500


   This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon

each compacting state until renounced by it. Renunciation of this compact must

be preceded by sending six (6) months' notice in writing of intention to

withdraw from the compact to the other states party hereto.

History of Section.

(P.L. 1941, ch. 1021, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 20-8-1.)