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Shellfishermen protest in Milford over new state lease for shell beds

Shellfishermen protested in Milford Wednesday over new changes to their state leases on shell beds. The fishermen say they were given no warning about the changes to their leases and are worried it

News 12 Staff

Sep 11, 2014, 2:20 AM

Updated 3,570 days ago

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Shellfishermen protested in Milford Wednesday over new changes to their state leases on shell beds.
The fishermen say they were given no warning about the changes to their leases and are worried it could destroy their business.
Fisherman Joseph Gilbert, who has owned Empire Fisheries for the past 32 years, says the state changed the shell bed leases back in June. Gilbert says the new lease gives the state the power to take away their right to fish for any minor offenses.
Fishermen have a total of 24 days to make their annual payment of $154 per acre instead of the original 60 days. The lease also requires fishermen to provide documentation of a good faith effort, take steps to mitigate the risk of disease and follow laws and regulations. David Carey, the director of the Bureau of Aquaculture, says fishermen have been following all of these regulations already.
State officials say if a fisherman loses his lease, he would have 30 days to return the land to the state.


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