Town shellfish, oyster rules

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Marine resources is taking comment on proposed rule changes affecting oyster harvesters and municipal shellfish conservation programs

A new minimum size for American oysters is proposed, 2.5 inches with a 10 percent tolerance. An exception is provided for aquaculturists who take or possess undersize oysters from their lease or license sites. The proposed rule also establishes a 10 percent tolerance for European oysters, which already have a minimum size of 3 inches.

The other proposed change clarifies the existing requirements for municipalities having shellfish conservation programs by reorganizing sections to be more understandable and improving the wording of the regulation throughout the chapter.

The change would improve consistency throughout the existing rule with regard to the establishment of various deadlines, using “days” throughout rather than “business days.” Finally, it would amend the components of municipal shellfish management plans to be consistent with what the law allows.

Hearings on both changes are set for June 25 at the DMR offices in Augusta. Contact [email protected] or 624-6573.

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