[§271G-2]  Declaration of policy.  The legislature of this State recognizes and declares that the transportation of persons and of property, for commercial purposes, by water within the State or between points within the State, constitutes a business affected with the public interest.  It is intended by this chapter to provide for fair and impartial regulation of such transportation, so administered as to recognize and preserve the inherent advantages of such transportation, in the interest of preserving for the public the full benefit and use of the waterways consistent with the public safety and the needs of commerce:  to promote safe, adequate, economical, and efficient service among carriers, to encourage the establishment and maintenance of reasonable rates and charges for transportation and related accessorial service, without unjust discrimination, undue preference or advantage, or unfair or destructive competitive practices, all to the end of developing, coordinating, and preserving a sound transportation system by water.  This chapter shall be administered and enforced with a view to carrying out the above declaration of policy. [L 1974, c 94, pt of §1]