Senate Bill No. 552 was defeated 25 to 15. The bill dealt with Crab pots and peeler pots, and would have required marine-biodegradable escape panels on any crab pot sold in the Commonwealth and any peeler pot regulated by the Marine Resources Commission (the Commission). Beginning January 1, 2019, waterman would have been required to outfit pots with the two marine-biodegradable escape panels. Violations would have been a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Shore Senator Lynwood Lewis took the floor to object to the bill, citing financial burdens it would be placing on waterman. Lewis noted that there are close to 1000 licensed waterman in the Commonwealth, and on average, they have 200 or more pots. Each one would have to be retrofitted to meet the new requirements.