(a) There is created in the State Treasury the Marine Resources Restoration Fund which shall receive funds from the additional surcharge on resident and nonresident saltwater fishing licenses levied pursuant to Section 9-12-233. In addition, the fund shall receive any state, federal, local, or private funds that may be legally applied toward economic relief of saltwater commercial gill net fishermen.
(b) The fund is continuously appropriated to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for the purpose of implementing the programs established in Section 9-12-232 and as otherwise provided in subsection (d). The department may not use any of the monies in the fund for administrative expenses.
(c) All interest and earnings derived from the monies in the fund shall remain in the fund. Any unexpended monies remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year shall remain in the fund and shall remain available for expenditure by the department for the purposes specified herein until expended in full.
(d) Any funds in the Marine Resources Restoration Fund not used for implementing the program established in Section 9-12-232 shall be used for research and reef development.
(e) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, the obligations of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to acquire and retire nets as set out in Section 9-12-232 shall be limited to the availability of funds in the Marine Resources Restoration Fund.