Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
Title 28.2. Fisheries and Habitat of the Tidal Waters
3/24/2019

Article 3. Oyster Records and Resource User Fees.

§ 28.2-538. Record of oysters handled; penalty.

All licensed oyster harvesters, buyers, shucking houses, and aquaculture operations shall record all fisheries data and information required by the Commission as provided in § 28.2-204. Such records shall be open for inspection by the Commissioner and a copy available to him or any employee designated by him to inspect or receive the same. A failure to keep such a record is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 28-100; 1960, c. 517; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-87; 1966, c. 684; 1975, c. 199; 1976, c. 255; 1988, c. 313; 1992, c. 836; 2013, c. 38.

§ 28.2-539. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2013, c. 38, cl. 2.

§ 28.2-541. Oyster resource user fees.

A. There are imposed upon all oysters taken from the public rocks, beds, or shoals the following oyster resource user fees, per year: (i) on any licensed commercial fisherman harvesting oysters by hand, a fee of $50; (ii) on the use of any type of gear to harvest oysters, a fee of $300; (iii) on any business shucking or packing (a) no more than 1,000 gallons of oysters, a fee of $500; (b) more than 1,000 but no more than 10,000 gallons of oysters, a fee of $1,000; (c) more than 10,000 but no more than 25,000 gallons of oysters, a fee of $2,000; and (d) more than 25,000 gallons of oysters, a fee of $4,000; and (iv) on any oyster buyer using (1) a single truck or location, a fee of $100 and (2) multiple trucks or locations, a fee of $300.

B. Any commercial aquaculture operation taking oysters pursuant to § 28.2-603 from a riparian assignment or general oyster planting ground shall pay an oyster resource user fee of $50.

C. Any harvester shall pay only one oyster resource user fee per year for oyster gear used under clause (ii) of subsection A.

D. The Commission may revoke the permit or license of any person who fails to comply with this section.

Code 1950, § 28-137.1; 1952, c. 650; 1954, c. 663; 1960, c. 517; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-93; 1964, c. 393; 1966, c. 173; 1978, c. 583; 1983, c. 18; 1988, c. 313; 1992, c. 836; 2013, c. 38.

§ 28.2-542. Oyster Replenishment Fund.

All oyster resource user fees collected by the Commission shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the Oyster Replenishment Fund, to be used only for administration of the program and for replenishment, planting, and replanting the public oyster rocks, beds, and shoals of the Commonwealth, with seed oysters, oyster shells, or other material that will catch, support, and grow oysters. These funds shall be withdrawn and expended for such purposes on the order of the Commission. Expenditures and disbursements from the Fund shall be made by the State Treasurer on warrant of the Comptroller issued on vouchers signed by persons designated by the Commission.

1962, cc. 406, 636, §§ 28.1-94, 28.1-94.1; 1992, c. 836; 2013, c. 38.

§ 28.2-543. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2013, c. 38, cl. 2.

§ 28.2-545. Reserved.

Reserved.

§ 28.2-546. Permit to carry oysters out of state.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, attempt to carry, or buy for the purpose of carrying out of the Commonwealth any seed oysters taken from the public rocks, beds, or shoals until he has first obtained for each cargo a permit to do so from the Commission.

B. The permit shall state the name of the boat or license number of the motor vehicle and the name and address of the owner or captain of the boat or owner or operator of the motor vehicle. The permit shall state the name and address of the person to whom the cargo of oysters is to be delivered. The permit shall specify the number of bushels to be carried out of the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 28-110; 1960, c. 517; 1962, c. 406, §§ 28.1-89, 28.1-96; 1964, c. 393; 1966, cc. 252, 684; 1968, c. 747; 1976, c. 255; 1981, c. 52; 1992, c. 836; 2006, c. 33; 2013, c. 38.

§ 28.2-547. Authority to inspect oysters when loaded on conveyance.

Any officer is authorized to inspect as to the quality, size and measure of any of the oysters taken or purchased, loaded on any boat, vessel, motor vehicle, or other conveyance, or sold to any person.

Code 1950, § 28-101; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-88; 1992, c. 836.

§ 28.2-548. Duty to inspect.

It shall be the duty of the officer in whose district a cargo of oysters is to be loaded to inspect the oysters as they are loaded and to ensure that all measurements are a full measure of oysters as defined in § 28.2-526 and that the oysters are properly culled.

Code 1950, §§ 28-103, 28-105; 1954, c. 367; 1960, c. 517; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-90; 1992, c. 836; 2006, c. 33; 2013, c. 38.

§ 28.2-549. Violations; recovery of oyster resource user fees; penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any person willfully failing to pay oyster resource user fees to the Commission in the manner required by this article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. The Commission may maintain an action at law against any person required to pay oyster resource user fees to the Commission for the amount of oyster resource user fees due, plus interest, and a penalty to be added to the oyster resource user fees in the amount of six percent if the failure is for not more than one month, with an additional six percent for each additional month, or fraction thereof, during which the failure continues, not to exceed 30 percent in the aggregate.

Code 1950, § 28-109; 1962, c. 406, § 28.1-95; 1988, c. 313; 1992, c. 836; 2013, c. 38.

§ 28.2-550. Authority of Commissioner to make certain contracts; funds received to be paid into Oyster Replenishment Fund.

A. The Commissioner, with the approval of the Commission, may contract with any person to take or dredge submerged oyster shells or any other subaqueous materials from the tidal waters of the Commonwealth, and shall have the authority to plant, use, or sell such shells or other materials in whatever manner the Commission deems to be in the best interest of the Commonwealth.

B. The Commissioner, with the approval of the Commission, may contract with any commercial fisherman to engage in replenishment, research, and stock assessment activities in the Commonwealth. The Commission may promulgate regulations establishing criteria for awarding such contracts, including a preference for commercial fishermen actively engaged in the taking or catching of fish or shellfish who have suffered an adverse economic impact resulting from the implementation of regulations of the Commission regulating the seafood and marine resources of the Commonwealth. In determining whether a person is a commercial fisherman actively engaged in the taking or catching of fish or shellfish, the Commission shall consider, among other relevant evidence, (i) his possession of a license issued pursuant to Article 1 (§ 28.2-500 et seq.) or (ii) his voluntary reporting of shellfish catches to the Commission.

C. The Commission, when it makes a determination in writing that competitive bidding or competitive negotiation is not feasible or fiscally advantageous to the Commonwealth, may authorize other methods of purchasing and contracting for seed oysters, house shells, reef shells, shell bed turning, or other goods and services for oyster ground replenishment, including contracts with commercial fishermen for replenishment, research, and stock assessment activities as provided in subsection B, which are in the best interest of the Commonwealth and which are fair and impartial to suppliers. It may establish pricing for its awards and purchases; use selection methods by lot; and open, close, and revise its purchases according to changing conditions of the natural resources, markets, and sources of supply.

1962, c. 636, § 28.1-94.1; 1989, c. 428; 1992, c. 836; 1994, c. 541; 2013, c. 38.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

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