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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation and Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 1230. Pertaining to Restrictions on Shellfish
4/7/2020

4VAC20-1230-31. Public Health and Warm Water Harvest Restrictions for Oysters.

A. From May 1 through September 30, all land-based deliveries of oysters shall be made aboard trucks or other conveyances equipped with VDH-approved temperature controlled storage. Mechanically refrigerated containers for oysters shall be in operation during transport. Any operator of a truck who is delivering oysters, using a truck not owned by a licensed shellfish buyer, shall possess a truck refrigeration certificate issued by the Virginia Department of Health, Division of Shellfish Sanitation. Upon receiving any oysters, licensed shellfish buyers shall immediately place any oysters received from any individual under temperature control.

B. From May 1 to September 30, it shall be unlawful for any individual to harvest oysters from open areas of public or private ground after any monthly curfew harvest time described in (i) subdivisions 1 through 5 of this subsection or (ii) subsections C and D of this section. All oysters shall be placed into trucks or other conveyances equipped with VDH-approved temperature controlled storage, no later than the following designated curfew harvest times, by month:

1. May 1 through May 31, by 11 a.m.;

2. June 1 through June 30, by 10 a.m.;

3. July 1 through July 31, by 10 a.m.;

4. August 1 through August 31, by 10 a.m.; and

5. September 1 through September 30, by 12 noon.

C. It shall be unlawful for any individual to harvest oysters from open areas of public or private ground, except as described in (i) subsection B or D of this section or (ii) subdivisions 1 through 3 of this subsection.

1. The individual has applied for and been granted a permit by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to harvest oysters after the designated monthly curfew harvest times, as provided in subsection B of this section.

2. A Virginia Marine Resources Commission-approved global positioning system tracking device shall be on board the harvest vessel or with the individual and must be in continuous operation from the time that vessel or individual leaves the dock or shore until the vessel or individual returns to the dock or shore, and the oysters harvested are offloaded from that vessel or onto the dock or shore and placed into trucks or other conveyances equipped with VDH-approved temperature controlled storage.

3. The total time, from the time the vessel or individual leaves the dock or shore until the oysters are placed into trucks or other conveyances equipped with VDH-approved temperature controlled storage, shall not exceed the following amount of time, by month:

a. Five hours during the months of May and September;

b. Three hours during the month of June; and

c. Two hours during the months of July and August.

D. It shall be unlawful for any individual to harvest oysters from open areas of public or private ground, except as described in (i) subsection B or C of this section or (ii) subdivisions 1 through 3 of this subsection.

1. The individual has applied for and has been issued a Virginia Department of Health, Division of Shellfish Sanitation vessel approval certificate for mechanical refrigeration or icing in a storage container that is on board the vessel at all times during the harvest of oysters;

2. The individual has applied for and has been issued a Marine Resources Commission shellfish harvester icing permit; and

3. Oysters are placed in VDH-approved temperature controlled storage on board the vessel from the start of harvest and throughout the harvest period until the oysters are offloaded.

E. From May 1 through September 30, it shall be unlawful for any individual to harvest oysters from open areas of public or private ground, as restricted-use shellstock, except as described in subdivisions 1 through 3 of this subsection.

1. The individual has been issued green restricted-use shellstock tags by a Virginia Department of Health, Division of Shellfish Sanitation-certified shucker packer and has tagged all oysters with restricted-use shellstock tags;

2. The individual does not possess on board the vessel any oysters designated for direct marketing or raw consumption; and

3. All oysters are harvested no later than 12 noon and are placed into trucks or other conveyances equipped with VDH-approved temperature controlled storage, no later than noon that same day.

F. From May 1 through September 30, it shall be unlawful for any individual to harvest any amount of natural (wild) seed oysters that include oysters greater than 2-1/2 inches, without first obtaining a valid bulk seed permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Any individual who harvests any natural (wild) seed oysters that include oysters greater than 2-1/2 inches and is not in possession of a valid bulk seed permit issued by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission shall be in violation of this chapter.

G. It shall be unlawful for any individual to handle oysters, as part of a cage aquaculture operation for husbandry purposes, after the designated harvesting times described in subsection B of this section without first obtaining a valid cage oyster aquaculture husbandry permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. Any individual who handles oysters in cage oyster aquaculture operations after the designated harvesting times described in subsection B of this section and does not possess a valid cage oyster aquaculture husbandry permit issued by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission shall be in violation of this chapter.

Statutory Authority

§ 28.2-201 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 30, Issue 19, eff. May 1, 2014.

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