The department shall implement a license buyback program for licenses issued under this subchapter as part of the oyster license moratorium program established by this subchapter.
The commission by rule shall establish criteria, using reasonable classifications, for the department’s use in selecting licenses to be purchased. The department or executive director shall consult with the oyster license moratorium review board concerning establishment of the criteria.
The department shall retire each license purchased under the license buyback program until the commission finds that management of the oyster fishery allows reissue of those licenses through auction or lottery.
The department shall set aside an amount determined by commission rule that is at least 20 percent of the fees from licenses issued under this subchapter to be used only for the purpose of buying back commercial oyster boat licenses from willing license holders. That money shall be sent to the comptroller for deposit to the credit of the game, fish, and water safety account.
The department may solicit and accept grants and donations of money or materials from private or public sources for the purpose of buying back licenses issued under this subchapter from willing license holders.
The commission shall consider the social and economic viability of the oyster industry and input from the oyster license moratorium review board regarding the reissue of commercial oyster boat licenses through auction or lottery.Added by Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 687 (H.B. 51), Sec. 8, eff. June 1, 2018.