Limited purpose aquaculture rule

AUGUSTA — Regulations aimed at reforming the process for limited purpose aquaculture licenses (LPAs) have been finalized and adopted by the Maine Department of Marine Resources.

The new rule clarifies the rules for obtaining, operating and renewing an LPA.

It includes several changes to reduce risk to public health, including prohibiting siting LPAs for shellfish in prohibited, restricted and conditionally restricted areas, with some exceptions. It prohibits siting of marine algae or shellfish seed LPAs within a specified zone around wastewater treatment outfalls.

It also limits the dimensions of LPAs to no longer than 1 by 400 ft, square or rectangular. It requires LPA license holders to complete an educational program prior to renewal of their license in 2019 and future years.

Gear-marking requirements were adjusted so that each individual piece no longer needs to be marked. Buoys must be marked with the LPA identification number.

An individual may be listed on no more than eight LPAs other than their own.

The rule also clarifies numerous provisions, including allowable amendments mid-year, notice to municipalities, site identification on the application and who must sign the application.

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