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Press Release

New Regulation Prohibits Commercial or Non-Game Fish Sales and Commercial Gear Use in Specific Advisory Areas

July 22, 2003

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announces the implementation of a new regulation to prohibit commercial or non-game fish sales and commercial gear use in specific advisory areas.  The regulation approved by Commissioner Barnett Lawley and put into effect on June 13, 2003, reads as follows:

a) It shall be illegal to fish with the aid of commercial gear in any specific portion of the public waters of the State under the jurisdiction of the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries as provided in Rule 220-2-.42 where there has been a fish consumption advisory issued by the State Department of Public Health on any commercial or non-game fish species.  The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to persons taking fish pursuant to a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 9-11-231, Code of Alabama 1975.

b) In addition, it shall be illegal to sell or offer for sale any fish taken from such waters regardless of the method by which the fish are taken.

Corky Pugh, Director of Alabama’s Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries states, “Anglers should realize that the majority of fish caught from Alabama’s public waters are completely safe for human consumption.  This regulation will help us prevent consumers from eating fish caught from the few areas of Alabama’s public waters where the Department of Health has issued a public health advisory on specific species and sizes of fish.  We remain committed to protecting the aquatic resources of Alabama for the safe benefit of the people of Alabama.”

Waters where advisories have been issued by the Department of Health constitute a very small portion of Alabama’s public waters.  Catching and releasing fish from areas with an advisory is not harmful to the anglers.

Check out our website at www.dcnr.state.al.us/agfd for a link to the Alabama Department of Public Health’s fish advisories.

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