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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsOctober 2015

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(7 Del.C. §§1902(a)(1); 2804; 2806)
7 DE Admin. Code 3710, 3711 & 3712
Under the authority vested in the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control ("Department" or "DNREC") pursuant to 7 Del.C. §§6006, 6010, the following findings of fact based on the record, reasons and conclusions are entered as an Order of the Secretary in the above-referenced regulatory proceeding.
This Order relates to proposed regulation Amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3710-12, as follows, to wit: 7 DE Admin. Code 3710: Conch; 7 DE Admin. Code 3711: Conch Minimum Size Limits; and replacing existing 7 DE Admin. Code 3712: Commercial Conch Dredge Licenses with a new Section 3712, to wit: Commercial Conch Season (hereinafter referred to as "Conch Regulations"). The Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife commenced the regulatory development process with Start Action Notice 2015-02 dated April 14, 2015. The Department published its initial proposed regulation Amendments in the May 1, 2015 Delaware Register of Regulations. The Department then held a public hearing on May 28, 2015. Consistent with 29 Del.C. §10118(a), the public hearing record remained open for public comment through June 12, 2015.
The purpose of this proposed regulatory promulgation is to adopt as final the aforementioned proposed Amendments to Delaware's existing Conch Regulations ("Amendments") in order to provide Delaware's licensed knobbed conch (Busycon carica) dredgers with access to this resource similar to that of their New Jersey counterparts.
Based on the record developed by the Department's experts and established by the Hearing Officer's Report, I find that the proposed regulatory Amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3710-12: Conch Regulations are well-supported. Therefore, the recommendations of the Hearing Officer are hereby adopted, and I direct that the proposed regulatory Amendments be promulgated as final.
I find that the Department's experts in the Division of Fish and Wildlife fully developed the record to support adoption of these regulatory Amendments. The adoption of these regulatory Amendments will allow Delaware to (1) provide Delaware's licensed knobbed conch (Busycon carica) dredgers with access to this resource similar to that of their New Jersey counterparts; (2) adopt a five-inch minimum size limit (3-inch minimum whorl diameter) with a five-month open season from January 15 through June 15; and (3) afford Delaware economic parity with New Jersey by the implementation of said five month harvest season, which is expected to constrain harvest without unduly jeopardizing the sustainability of the resource.
1. The Department has the statutory basis and legal authority to act with regard to the proposed Amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3710-12, pursuant to 7 Del.C. §§1902(a)(1), 2804, and 2806;
2. The Department has jurisdiction under its statutory authority, pursuant to 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, to issue an Order adopting these proposed regulatory Amendments as final;
5. The adoption of these proposed regulatory Amendments will allow Delaware to (1) provide Delaware's licensed knobbed conch (Busycon carica) dredgers with access to this resource similar to that of their New Jersey counterparts; (2) adopt a five-inch minimum size limit (3-inch minimum whorl diameter) with a five-month open season from January 15 through June 15; and (3) afford Delaware economic parity with New Jersey by the implementation of said five month harvest season, which is expected to constrain harvest without unduly jeopardizing the sustainability of the resource;
6. The Department has reviewed these proposed regulatory Amendments in the light of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, consistent with 29 Del.C. Ch. 104, and believes the same to be lawful, feasible and desirable, and that the recommendations as proposed should be applicable to all Delaware citizens equally;
7. The Department's proposed regulatory Amendments, as published in the May 1, 2015 Delaware Register of Regulations, are adequately supported, are not arbitrary or capricious, and are consistent with the applicable laws and regulations. Consequently, they are approved as final regulatory amendments, which shall go into effect ten days after their publication in the next available issue of the Delaware Register of Regulations; and
8. The Department shall submit this Order approving as final the proposed Amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3710-12: Conch Regulations to the Delaware Register of Regulations for publication in its next available issue, and provide such other notice as the law and regulation require and the Department determines is appropriate.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §1912)
1.0 It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any channeled conch, Busycotypus canaliculatum, that measures less than six (6) inches in length or 3 1/8 inches in diameter at the whorl.
3.0 It shall be unlawful for any person to possess any knobbed conch, Busycon carica, that measures less than five 5 ¼ inches in 2007, 5 ½ inches in 2008, 5 ¾ inches in 2009, and six (6) inches in length in 2010. Beginning in 2010, the minimum length shall remain 6 inches thereafter until changed by regulation. The minimum diameter at the whorl shall be no less than 3 inches in 2007, 3 ¼ inches in 2008, 3 ¼ inches in 2009 and 3 ½ inches in 2010 and shall remain 3 ½ inches thereafter until changed by regulation five (5) inches in length or less than three (3) inches in diameter at the whorl.
3712 Commercial Conch Dredge Licenses Season
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. § 1912)
1.0 Pursuant to §2803(c) of 7 Del.C, the Department shall not issue any new conch dredge licenses for a period of 5 years to begin January 1, 2006. Licenses may continue to be issued pursuant to §2803(d) of 7 Del.C. Notwithstanding 7 Del.C. §§2803(a) and 2805, it is unlawful to for a vessel equipped with a dredge to possess knobbed conch during the period June 16 through January 14.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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