BAR HARBOR — The town’s new class of commercial shellfish licenses, for harvesters under 18 years old, is now official following a Town Council hearing and vote on the ordinance change last week.
The junior commercial license carries half the registration fee ($60 compared with $120) and no requirement to complete conservation hours for license holders under age 17, per Department of Labor Rules.
Councilor Val Peacock said she hopes the change will encourage more people to take up clamming.
I get out there on the flats with my 6 year old, and there’s not many other people out there sometimes,” she said.
The ordinance amendment also adjusted the town’s system for allocating commercial licenses. There are currently four commercial resident licenses. If there are fewer than four residents interested in licenses in any given year, under DMR rules, any unsold licenses are available to anyone after 90 days, and a nonresident license holder would not be required to complete conservation hours.
For the last decade, Petersen said, the town has had between one and four commercial harvesters. Under the change to an “unlimited class” of licenses, the town would not have to offer any nonresident licenses until six resident licenses are sold, and all adult license holders, including nonresidents, would be required to do the conservation hours.