Section 370.20, Florida Statutes 2001
370.20 Gulf States Marine Fisheries Compact; implementing legislation.--
(1) FORM.--The Governor of this state is hereby authorized and directed to execute the compact on behalf of the State of Florida with any one or more of the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas, and with such other state as may enter into a compact, legal joining therein in the form substantially as follows:
GULF STATES MARINE FISHERIES
The contracting states solemnly agree:
Whereas the gulf coast states have the proprietary interest in and jurisdiction over fisheries in the waters within their respective boundaries, it is the purpose of this compact to promote the better utilization of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the seaboard of the Gulf of Mexico, by the development of a joint program for the promotion and protection of such fisheries and the prevention of the physical waste of the fisheries from any cause.
This compact shall become operative immediately as to those states ratifying it whenever any two or more of the States of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas have ratified it and the Congress has given its consent subject to article I, s. 10 of the Constitution of the United States. Any state contiguous to any of the aforementioned states or riparian upon waters which flow into waters under the jurisdiction of any of the aforementioned states and which are frequented by anadromous fish or marine species may become a party hereto as hereinafter provided.
Each state joining herein shall appoint three representatives to a commission hereby constituted and designated as the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission. One shall be the head of the administrative agency of such state charged with the conservation of the fishery resources to which this compact pertains or, if there be more than one officer or agency, the official of that state named by the governor thereof. The second shall be a member of the legislature of such state designated by such legislature or in the absence of such designation, such legislator shall be designated by the governor thereof, provided that if it is constitutionally impossible to appoint a legislator as a commissioner from such state, the second member shall be appointed in such manner as may be established by law. The third shall be a citizen who shall have a knowledge of and interest in the marine fisheries, to be appointed by the governor. This commission shall be a body corporate with the powers and duties set forth herein.
The duty of the said commission shall be to make inquiry and ascertain from time to time such methods, practices, circumstances and conditions as may be disclosed for bringing about the conservation and the prevention of the depletion and physical waste of the fisheries, marine, shell and anadromous, of the gulf coast. The commission shall have power to recommend the coordination of the exercise of the police powers of the several states within their respective jurisdiction to promote the preservation of these fisheries and their protection against overfishing, waste, depletion or any abuse whatsoever and to assure a continuing yield from the fishery resources of the aforementioned states.
To that end the commission shall draft and recommend to the governors and the legislatures of the various signatory states, legislation dealing with the conservation of the marine, shell and anadromous fisheries of the gulf seaboard. The commission shall from time to time present to the governor of each compacting state its recommendations relating to enactments to be presented to the legislature of the state in furthering the interest and purposes of this compact.
The commission shall consult with and advise the pertinent administrative agencies in the states party hereto with regard to problems connected with the fisheries and recommend the adoption of such regulations as it deems advisable.
The commission shall have power to recommend to the states party hereto the stocking of the waters of such states with fish and fish eggs or joint stocking by some or all of the states party hereto and when two or more states shall jointly stock waters the commission shall act as the coordinating agency for such stocking.
The commission shall elect from its number a chair and vice chair and shall appoint and at its pleasure remove or discharge such officers and employees as may be required to carry the provisions of this compact into effect and shall fix and determine their duties, qualifications and compensation. Said commission shall adopt rules and regulations for the conduct of its business. It may establish and maintain one or more offices for the transaction of its business and may meet at any time or place but must meet at least once a year.
No action shall be taken by the commission in regard to its general affairs except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the whole number of compacting states. No recommendation shall be made by the commission in regard to any species of fish except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the compacting states which have an interest in such species. The commission shall define which shall be an interest.
The Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior of the Government of the United States shall act as the primary research agency of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission cooperating with the research agencies in each state for that purpose. Representatives of the said fish and wildlife service shall attend the meetings of the commission. An advisory committee to be representative of the commercial salt water fishers and the salt water anglers and such other interests of each state as the commissioners deem advisable may be established by the commissioners from each state for the purpose of advising those commissioners upon such recommendations as it may desire to make.
When any state other than those named specifically in article II of this compact shall become a party hereto for the purpose of conserving its anadromous fish or marine species in accordance with the provisions of article II, the participation of such state in the action of the commission shall be limited to such species of fish.
Nothing in this compact shall be construed to limit the powers or the proprietary interest of any signatory state or to repeal or prevent the enactment of any legislation or the enforcement of any requirement by a signatory state imposing additional conditions and restrictions to conserve its fisheries.
It is agreed that any two or more states party hereto may further amend this compact by acts of their respective legislatures subject to approval of Congress as provided in article I, s. 10, of the Constitution of the United States, to designate the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission as a joint regulating authority for the joint regulation of specific fisheries affecting only such states as shall be compact, and at their joint expense. The representatives of such states shall constitute a separate section of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission for the exercise of the additional powers so granted but the creation of such section shall not be deemed to deprive the states so compacting of any of their privileges or powers in the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission as constituted under the other articles of this compact.
Continued absence of representation or of any representative on the commission from any state party hereto shall be brought to the attention of the governor thereof.
The operating expenses of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission shall be borne by the states party hereto. Such initial appropriations as are set forth below shall be made available yearly until modified as hereinafter provided:
Florida ....... $3,500
Alabama ....... 1,000
Mississippi ....... 1,000
Louisiana ....... 5,000
Texas ....... 2,500
Total ....... $13,000
The proration and total cost per annum of $13,000, above-mentioned, is estimated only, for initial operations, and may be changed when found necessary by the commission and approved by the legislatures of the respective states. Each state party hereto agrees to provide in the manner most acceptable to it, the travel costs and necessary expenses of its commissioners and other representatives to and from meetings of the commission or its duly constituted sections or committees.
This compact shall continue in force and remain binding upon each compacting state until renounced by act of the legislature of such state, in such form as it may choose; provided that such renunciation shall not become effective until 6 months after the effective date of the action taken by the legislature. Notice of such renunciation shall be given to the other states party hereto by the secretary of state of the compacting state so renouncing upon passage of the act.
(2) MEMBERS OF COMMISSION; TERM OF OFFICE.--In pursuance of article III of said compact, there shall be three members (hereinafter called commissioners) of the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (hereafter called commission) from the State of Florida. The first commissioner from the State of Florida shall be the Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, ex officio, and the term of any such ex officio commissioner shall terminate at the time he or she ceases to hold said office of Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and his or her successor as commissioner shall be his or her successor as executive director. The second commissioner from the State of Florida shall be a legislator appointed on a rotating basis by the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, beginning with the appointment of a member of the House of Representatives, and the term of any such commissioner shall terminate at the time he or she ceases to hold said legislative office. The Governor (subject to confirmation by the Senate) shall appoint a citizen as a third commissioner who shall have a knowledge of and interest in the marine fisheries problem. The term of said commissioner shall be 3 years and the commissioner shall hold office until a successor shall be appointed and qualified. Vacancies occurring in the office of such commissioner from any reason or cause shall be filled by appointment by the Governor (subject to confirmation by the Senate) for the unexpired term. The Executive Director of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as ex officio commissioner, may delegate, from time to time, to any deputy or other subordinate in his or her department or office, the power to be present and participate, including voting, as his or her representative or substitute at any meeting of or hearing by or other proceeding of the commission. The terms of each of the initial three members shall begin at the date of the appointment of the appointive commissioner, provided the said compact shall then have gone into effect in accordance with article II of the compact; otherwise they shall begin upon the date upon which said compact shall become effective in accordance with said article II.
Any commissioner may be removed from office by the Governor upon charges and after a hearing.
(3) COMMISSION; POWERS.--There is hereby granted to the commission and the commissioners thereof all the powers provided for in the said compact and all the powers necessary or incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular. All officers of the State of Florida are hereby authorized and directed to do all things falling within their respective provinces and jurisdiction necessary or incidental to the carrying out of said compact in every particular; it being hereby declared to be the policy of the State of Florida to perform and carry out the said compact and to accomplish the purposes thereof. All officers, bureaus, departments and persons of and in the state government or administration of the State of Florida are hereby authorized and directed at convenient times and upon request of the said commission to furnish the said commission with information and data possessed by them or any of them and to aid said commission by loan of personnel or other means lying within their legal rights respectively.
(4) POWERS OF COMMISSION SUPPLEMENTAL.--Any powers herein granted to the commissioner shall be regarded as in aid of and supplemental to and in no case a limitation upon any of the powers vested in said commission by other laws of the State of Florida or by the laws of the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Florida or by the Congress or the terms of said compact.
(5) ACCOUNTS TO BE KEPT BY COMMISSION; EXAMINATION.--The commission shall keep accurate accounts of all receipts and disbursements and shall report to the Governor and the Legislature of the State of Florida on or before the 10th day of December in each year, setting forth in detail the transactions conducted by it during the 12 months preceding December 1 of that year and shall make recommendations for any legislative action deemed by it advisable, including amendments to the statutes of the State of Florida which may be necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of the compact between the signatory states.
The Department of Banking and Finance is hereby authorized and empowered from time to time to examine the accounts and books of the commission, including its receipts, disbursements and such other items referring to its financial standing as such department may deem proper and to report the results of such examination to the governor of such state.
History.--s. 2, ch. 28145, 1953; ss. 12, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 131, ch. 71-377; s. 10, ch. 77-85; s. 239, ch. 94-356; s. 999, ch. 95-148; s. 254, ch. 99-245; s. 4, ch. 2001-272.