Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 4. Conservation And Natural Resources
Agency 20. Marine Resources Commission
Chapter 310. Pertaining to the Relaying of Shellfish

4VAC20-310-50. Harvest.

A. Commercial harvest to be sold for public consumption.

1. Any relay container shall remain in the relaying area for a minimum of 15 days in water temperatures above 50%90F and in salinities sufficient to assure effective cleansing through active pumping. If a relay area is closed due to a pollution event during the relay process, the 15-day relay period shall coincide with the reopening of the area.

2. Requests to harvest specific containers shall be made to the marine police officer, specifying which sealed containers have been released for harvest by the Virginia Department of Health.

3. No shellfish shall be reharvested until a Permit to Remove Shellfish is received from the Virginia Department of Health. The seal on each container shall not be broken by anyone except a marine police officer.

4. After the seal is broken, the reharvested shellfish shall be moved into the certified shellstock storage facility (if provided) for washing, grading, bagging, tagging, and storage prior to shipment. Shellfish packed on boats, monitors or barges shall be immediately transferred to a certified shellstock storage facility or an enclosed vehicle for shipment to market or other certified dealers. No shellfish shall be washed, graded, bagged, or stored onshore or on a dock unless protected facilities are provided and approved by the Virginia Department of Health.

B. Noncommercial, private use.

1. Noncommercial relaying activity will be permitted from June 1 through September 30. All containers shall remain in the clean relay area for a minimum of 15 consecutive days. In the event the clean relay area is closed due to a pollution event during the relay process, the 15-day relay period shall start over when the area is reopened. For private noncommercial purposes, the container should be marked with a yellow flag for the entire relay period.

2. Requests should be made to the local marine police office to obtain a noncommercial relay permit (MRC 59) by the relayer. The marine police officer will then approve the clean relay site. The Conservation and Replenishment Department at the VMRC main office shall be contacted to obtain the report forms that must be completed to receive a permit to remove the shellfish. These reports, completed and signed, shall be returned in a timely manner to the Conservation and Replenishment Department to avoid delay in receiving a Virginia Department of Health permit for removing the shellfish.

3. No shellfish shall be harvested until a permit to remove the shellfish is received from the Virginia Department of Health. After the 15-day relay period and receipt of the permit by the relayer, the yellow flag may be removed and the shellfish harvested.

Statutory Authority

§§ 28.2-201 and 28.2-801 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR450-01-0042 § 5, eff. April 1, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 6, Issue 25, eff. August 1, 1990; Volume 11, Issue 22, eff. July 1, 1995; Volume 16, Issue 19, eff. May 15, 2000; Volume 22, Issue 4, eff. October 1, 2005.

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