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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsOctober 2018

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7 DE Admin. Code 3511
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 and 6010, and any other relevant statutory authority, 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 ("Amendments") to 7 DE Admin. Code 3511: Summer Flounder Size Limits; Possession Limits; Seasons. This action is being taken by the Department to adopt provisions consistent with federal measures proposed for the recreational Summer Flounder management, in compliance with Addendum XXVIII to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's ("ASMFC") Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass. Specifically, the proposed action will allow Delaware to reduce its Summer Flounder minimum size limit by a half-inch to 16.5 inches.
The procedural requirements of 29 Del.C. §§10115 - 10118 did not afford the Department sufficient time to complete its formal regulatory amendment process prior to the beginning of the 2018 Summer Flounder recreational fishery. Therefore, pursuant to 29 Del.C. §10119 and 7 Del.C. §903(h), the Department adopted emergency regulations with the issuance of Secretary's Order No. 2018-F-0026 on April 13, 2018, in order to immediately implement the aforementioned necessary regulatory change. Shortly thereafter, the Department commenced its formal regulatory amendment process with Start Action Notice #2018-10 (May 15, 2018). It should be noted that the Department renewed its emergency regulations on Summer Flounder for an additional ninety (90) days with the issuance of Secretary's Order No. 2018-F-0041 (July 18, 2018), in order to ensure that the provisions of the aforementioned emergency regulations would not expire prior to the formal finalization of these proposed Amendments.
The Department has the statutory basis and legal authority to act with regard to the proposed amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3511: Summer Flounder Size Limits; Possession Limits; Seasons, pursuant to 7 Del.C. §901 and §903(a), (b), and (e). The Department published its initial proposed regulation Amendments in the July 1, 2018 Delaware Register of Regulations. Thereafter, the public hearing regarding this matter was held on July 26, 2018. No members of the public attended that public hearing. Pursuant to Delaware law, the record remained open for fifteen (15) additional days subsequent to the date of the public hearing for receipt of public comment. The hearing record formally closed with regard to public comment at close of business on August 10, 2018, with no comment having been received by the Department during any phase of this proposed regulatory promulgation. It should be noted that all notification and noticing requirements concerning this matter were met by the Department. Proper notice of the hearing was provided as required by law.
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 3511: Summer Flounder Size Limits; Possession Limits; Seasons 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 further find that the Department's experts in the Division of Fish and Wildlife fully developed the record to support adoption of these revised regulatory Amendments.
1. The Department has the statutory basis and legal authority to act with regard to the proposed amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3511: Summer Flounder Size Limits; Possession Limits; Seasons, pursuant to 7 Del.C. §901 and §903(a), (b), and (e);
2. The Department has jurisdiction under its statutory authority, pursuant to 7 Del.C. Ch. 60, to issue an Order adopting these revised proposed Amendments as final;
4. Promulgation of the revised proposed Amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3511: Summer Flounder Size Limits; Possession Limits; Seasons will enable the Department to bring Delaware's existing Summer Flounder Regulations into compliance with current federal measures proposed for the recreational Summer Flounder fishery, consistent with Addendum XXVIII to the ASMFC's Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass, specifically, by allowing Delaware to reduce its Summer Flounder minimum size limit by a half inch to 16.5 inches;
5. The Department has reviewed the proposed Amendments in the light of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, consistent with 29 Del.C. Ch. 104, and has selected Exemption "B1" regarding same, as this promulgation is not substantially likely to impose additional costs or burdens upon individuals and/or small businesses;
7. The Department's proposed regulatory Amendments, as initially published in the July 1, 2018 Delaware Register of Regulations, and as set forth in Appendix "A" hereto, 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 3511: Summer Flounder Size Limits; Possession Limits, Seasons 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. §936(b)(2))
3.0 It shall be unlawful for any person, to have in possession any part of a summer flounder that measures less than seventeen (17) sixteen and one half (16.5) inches between said part's two most distant points unless said person also has in possession the head, backbone and tail intact from which said part was removed.
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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