82
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      Senate votes to stiffen aquatic species penalties

      Lawmakers are moving to boost penalties for knowingly having or selling prohibited aquatic species in Michigan.

      The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved five bills now headed to the House.

      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 $7 billion fishing industry.