(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.—The Legislature finds that commercial and recreational fishing constitute activities of statewide importance and that the continuation of commercial and recreational fishing will benefit the health and welfare of the people of this state. The Legislature further finds that commercial and recreational fishing operations conducted in developing and urbanizing areas are potentially subject to curtailment as a result of local government zoning and nuisance ordinances which may unreasonably force the closure of productive commercial and recreational fishing operations. It is the purpose of this act to prevent the curtailment or abolishment of commercial and recreational fishing operations solely because the area in which they are located has changed in character or the operations are displeasing to neighboring residents.
(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, “commercial fishing operation” means any type of activity conducted on land, requiring the location or storage of commercial fishing equipment such as fishing vessels, fishing gear, docks, piers, loading areas, landing areas, and cold storage facilities, including any activity necessary to prepare finfish or shellfish for refrigeration. This definition does not include operations with the sole or primary function of processing seafood.
(3) LEGAL PROTECTION OF COMMERCIAL AND RECREATIONAL FISHING OPERATIONS.—No commercial or recreational fishing operation shall be declared a public or private nuisance solely because of a change in ownership or a change in the character of the property in or around the locality of the operation.
(4) LOCAL ORDINANCE.—No local governing authority shall adopt any ordinance that declares any commercial or recreational fishing operation to be a nuisance solely because it is a commercial or recreational fishing operation, or any zoning ordinance that unreasonably forces the closure of any commercial or recreational fishing operation. Nothing in this act shall prevent a local government from regulating commercial and recreational fishing operations, including by requiring the use of methods, structures, or appliances where such use will prevent, ameliorate, or remove conditions which create or may create a nuisance or, pursuant to the applicable local zoning code, by declaring a commercial or recreational fishing operation to be a nonconforming use.
(5) WHEN EXPANSION OF OPERATION NOT PERMITTED.—This act shall not be construed to permit an existing commercial or recreational fishing operation to change to a larger operation with regard to emitting more noise or odor, where such change violates local ordinances or regulations or creates a nuisance.