Legislature Votes To Boost Aquatic Species Fines

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – The Michigan Legislature has voted to boost penalties for knowingly having or selling prohibited aquatic species in the state.

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly finished approving five bills moving toward Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature. The Senate must give the final OK to a couple of the measures.

The legislation would require judges to order a one-year suspension of commercial or sport fishing licenses if the permit holder sells a prohibited aquatic species. The license would have to be permanently revoked after a second violation.

The bills would stiffen criminal penalties so someone who introduces a prohibited aquatic species in Michigan could be imprisoned for up to three years and be fined up to $100,000.

Asian carp and other invasive species have the potential to crowd out native species and threaten the fishing industry.

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