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(a) Aquatic farms are licensed to culture private aquatic life. Cultured aquatic life is not wildlife. Aquatic farms must be licensed and given classifications to prevent or minimize impacts on natural resources. The purpose of sections 17.4981 to 17.4997 is to:

(1) prevent public aquatic life from entering an aquatic farm;

(2) prevent release of nonindigenous or exotic species into public waters without approval of the commissioner;

(3) protect against release of disease pathogens to public waters;

(4) protect existing natural aquatic habitats and the wildlife dependent on them; and

(5) protect private aquatic life from unauthorized taking or harvest.

(b) Private aquatic life that is legally acquired and possessed is an article of interstate commerce and may be restricted only as necessary to protect state fish and water resources.

(c) The commissioner of natural resources shall establish license and other fees as provided in section 16A.1285, subdivision 2, that would make aquaculture licensing and enforcement self-sustaining. Notwithstanding section 16A.1283, the commissioner may, by written order published in the State Register, establish the fees required by this section. The fees are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14, and section 14.386 does not apply. The commissioner shall develop best management practices for aquaculture to ensure the long-term sustainability of aquaculture and wetlands used for aquaculture, including, but not limited to, fish farming in man-made ponds.

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes