When the board has determined that the proposed lease is not incompatible with the public interest and that the applicant has demonstrated his or her capacity to perform the operations upon which the application is based, it may proceed to consummate a lease contract having the following features in addition to others deemed desirable by the board:
(1) TERM.—The maximum initial terms shall be 10 years. Leases shall be renewable for successive terms up to the same maximum upon agreement of the parties.
(2) RENTAL FEES.— (a) The lease contract shall specify such amount of rental per acre of leased bottom as may be agreed to by the parties and shall take the form of fixed rental to be paid throughout the term of the lease. Beginning January 1, 1990, a surcharge of $5 per acre, or any fraction of an acre, per annum shall be levied upon each lease according to the guidelines set forth in s. 597.010(7). Beginning January 1, 2001, the surcharge shall be increased to $10 per acre, or any fraction of an acre, per annum.
(b) All leases shall stipulate for the payment of the initial term’s first year’s annual rental within 30 days of the date of execution of the lease instrument, and payment of the annual rental fee for all succeeding years throughout the term of the lease on or before the anniversary date. Failure of the lessee to pay such rent within 30 days of such date shall constitute ground for cancellation of the lease and forfeiture to the state of all works, improvements, and animal and plant life in and upon the leased land and water column.
(3) MAXIMUM AREA TO BE LEASED.—The board shall not lease a larger area of submerged land to any single lessee than has been demonstrated to be within the lessee’s capacity to utilize efficiently and consistent with the public interest. However, the board may hold a reasonable area of adjacent bottom land in reserve for the time when a holder of an experimental lease will begin operation under a commercial lease. Successful conduct of aquaculture activities on an experimental basis may be accepted as a demonstration of capacity to conduct such operations on a commercial basis.
(4) PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS.—Failure of the lessee to perform effective cultivation shall constitute ground for cancellation of the lease and forfeiture to the state of all the works, improvements, and animal and plant life in and upon the leased land and water column. Effective cultivation shall consist of the grow out of the aquaculture product according to the business plan provided in the lease contract.
(5) DISPOSITION OF IMPROVEMENTS AT TERMINATION OF CONTRACT.—Each contract entered into under this act shall stipulate the disposition of improvements and assets upon the leased lands and waters, including animal and plant life resulting from aquaculture activities.
(6) ASSIGNABILITY OF LEASES.—Leases granted under this act shall be assignable in whole or in part with the approval of the board.
(7) SPECIAL LEASE CONDITIONS.—Leases granted under this section may contain special lease conditions that provide for flexibility in surveying and posting lease boundaries, incorporate conditions necessary to issue permits pursuant to part IV of chapter 373 and chapter 403, and provide for special activities related to aquaculture and resource management.