1976 South Carolina Code of Laws
Unannotated
Updated through the end of the 2002 Session

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Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft

CHAPTER 18.

AQUACULTURE

ARTICLE 1.

HYBRID STRIPED BASS

SECTION 50-18-10. Definitions.

When used in this chapter:

(1) Hybrid means the progeny resulting from cross-breeding a striped bass with a white bass or their hybrids approved by the department.

(2) Fingerling means a postlarval fish less than one year old which has all the characteristics of the adult fish.

(3) Aquaculturist means an individual, a corporation, a cooperative, a partnership, a company, or an entity that engages in aquaculture.

(4) Trafficking means the processing, buying, selling, bartering, trading, exchanging, or offering or exposing for sale, barter, trade, or exchange, or otherwise acquiring or disposing of a fish.

(5) Department means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources or its authorized agent.

(6) Product means the meat, organs, flesh, skin, fry, eggs, gametes, fingerlings, or skeleton of a hybrid which is fresh, frozen, dried, smoked, cured, or cooked that is whole or mutilated or parts of them.

(7) Aquaculture means the controlled cultivation of aquatic species in confinement, including breeding, spawning, rearing, and growing out either alone or in combination and trafficking in the fish.

(8) Retailer means a person that sells directly to the ultimate consumer, not for resale.

(9) Wholesaler means a person that sells products to licensed retailers, jobbers, dealers, or other wholesalers for resale but does not sell to users or consumers.

(10) Processor means a person that engages in cutting, dressing, mutilating, filleting, freezing, or packaging of products other than when prepared and sold directly to the ultimate consumer.

(11) Distributor means a person including a wholesaler, retailer, or processor who ships, transports, or distributes products for market.

(12) Ultimate consumer means a person who purchases or receives an aquaculture product for his consumption and not for resale.

(13) Santee-Cooper strain means the genetic strain of striped bass indigenous to the Santee-Cooper Lake System of South Carolina.

(14) Business establishment means a location where the trafficking of an approved aquaculture product takes place.

SECTION 50-18-20. Production and sale of hybrids; permanent certificate of permission and permits.

(A) Before engaging in a business trafficking in hybrids, a person must obtain at no cost a permanent certificate of permission from the department to be issued upon request.

(B) Before engaging in a business of producing or processing hybrids, a person must obtain a permit from the department for an initial fee of one hundred dollars. The renewal fee for a permit shall be twenty-five dollars if an application is made prior to the expiration of a current permit. If the application is made after the expiration date of a permit, the applicant must pay the initial application fee before obtaining a permit. Application for permits or certificates of permission must be made on forms provided by the department. Every business establishment is required to be permitted. A permit or certificate of permission required by this chapter must be displayed conspicuously.

(C) Permits issued under this section must include the species utilized, conditions and specifications for aquaculture facilities and ponds, requirements for the possession, taking, holding, transporting, importing, or exporting hybrids, production reporting requirements, and other provisions the department determines to be necessary. The department and its agents may inspect all facilities, vehicles, boats, and operations of an applicant or person who has been issued a permit or certificate of permission and inspect and sample a product being possessed, processed, cultured, transported, or offered for sale during business hours.

SECTION 50-18-30. Documentation required of transfer of hybrids.

When hybrids are sold or transferred between permitted persons, the documentation of the transactions must show the permit number of both parties and total poundage of the product transferred. The documentation must be maintained by both parties for three years.

SECTION 50-18-40. Destruction of non-certified striped bass.

If a person has in his possession or at his facility a striped bass not certified by the department as to the genetic strain approved for use in this State or a hybrid not approved for use in this State, the species must be destroyed at the discretion of the department. The possessor is responsible for the cost and liability for the destruction and disposal of the illegal product. No striped bass or hybrid may be placed or released into waters of the State without a permit issued by the department.

SECTION 50-18-50. Acquisition or production of brood stock.

(A) Brood stock may be acquired for aquaculture operations from the waters of the State only in the following manner:

(1) Game fish must be taken by hook and line only as described in Section 50-13-10 or by other methods the department may prescribe in the permit issued pursuant to Section 50-18-20.

(2) The department may restrict the taking of brood stock in an area where competition or interference with department activities may occur.

(3) Daily creel and size limits apply as set forth in this title.

(4) The department must be notified as approved by the department in advance of the registration of the boats and location of persons attempting to take brood stock.

(5) Only permanent employees or partners of an aquaculture operation may engage in the acquisition of brood stock, and no contractors, subcontractors, or temporary employees may engage in or contract to acquire brood stock.

(6) Daily logs showing the number of fish acquired from the waters of the State must be maintained and also must show from which area the fish are harvested.

(7) Only farm-reared (cultured) striped bass may be sold for brood stock to permitted persons only.

(B) Striped bass originating from out of state must be certified as the Santee-Cooper strain by the department or agencies approved by the department.

(C) Brood stock may be produced from wild or cultured fish.

SECTION 50-18-60. Invoices required for sale of fingerlings.

A person who possesses fingerlings of hybrids shall maintain an invoice showing the person, including permit number, from whom the fingerlings were acquired, the date of sale, and the total poundage of the fish and the species. Invoices must be maintained by the seller and the buyer for three years.

SECTION 50-18-70. Invoices required for shipments of hybrids; notification of shipment of live fish or eggs.

Each shipment of hybrids must be accompanied by an invoice or other document showing the product, identification of the fish, date, total poundage, and receiver and destination, along with the name and address and permit number of the producer or processor, or both. If live fish or eggs of an approved hybrid are shipped into South Carolina from out of state, the department must be notified eight hours in advance of the date and time of shipment and of other information requested.

SECTION 50-18-80. Decals required for permittee's vehicles, boats, and other transportation devices.

Every motor vehicle, boat, or other transporting device owned, leased, or controlled by the permittee and used in the business of aquaculture must have attached to it conspicuously a decal in a manner prescribed by the department. This section does not apply to businesses who are solely common carriers, shippers, distributors, or retailers.

SECTION 50-18-90. Invoices required for transfers of permitted aquaculture species, and certain feed and supplies.

(A) A person engaged in the business of aquaculture shall maintain invoices on permitted aquaculture species which are bought, sold, or transferred. The invoices must be maintained for three years.

(B) A person who produces hybrids shall maintain invoices on feed and other supplies for three years.

SECTION 50-18-100. Labeling requirements.

No trafficking in hybrids is allowed unless the products are labeled in the following manner:

(1) Whole or drawn (gilled and gutted) fish which are dead must be marked or identified as provided for and approved by the department before being transported from the facility where they are grown or processed.

(2) Fish harvested out of state from permitted facilities may be transported alive in water on properly permitted vehicles to processors with eight hours prior notification to the department.

(3) Fish harvested in the State from permitted facilities may be transported alive in water on properly permitted vehicles to processors with eight hours prior notification as approved by the department.

(4) Labels must be affixed in the manner prescribed by the department.

SECTION 50-18-110. Prohibition against misuse of any instrument required by chapter.

No person may transfer, alter, damage, deface, tamper with, reuse, counterfeit, or use in a fraudulent manner a tag, document, seal, label, permit, or other instrument required by this chapter.

SECTION 50-18-120. Invoices required for all transfers of hybrids; inspection of facilities.

A person who processes hybrids must be permitted by the department and shall maintain invoices on permitted fish which are bought, sold, transferred, processed, or possessed in his facility. The invoice must show the date, species, and poundage of all transactions. The invoice must show the origin and destination of the product including permit numbers. If the processor fillets or mutilates the product, the product must be labeled as prescribed in this chapter before leaving the processing facility. Invoices must be maintained for three years. The permitted facility shall allow inspection and sampling by the department during business hours or when employees are present.

SECTION 50-18-130. Aquaculture species to be designated as "farm raised".

Retailers, including restaurants, shall advertise aquaculture species as "farm raised" or a similar designation indicating the origin of the product.

SECTION 50-18-140. Invoices required for sale of hybrids for aquaculture; exceptions; labels.

A person who sells hybrids shall provide the buyer with an invoice showing his permit number, date of sale, species sold, and total poundages. This section does not apply to a retail business which sells the product directly to the ultimate consumer. No business establishment may store or possess hybrids unless they are permitted, but restaurants and permitted businesses engaged in the lawful sale of hybrids may offer approved products for sale if the labeled containers are retained until the time of sale to the ultimate consumer.

Labels must be affixed in the manner prescribed by the department and must remain attached until prepared by or for the ultimate consumer.

SECTION 50-18-150. Permit required for shipping into State; notification of shipment; invoices; inspections.

A person outside of the State shall obtain an aquaculture permit before he sells, ships, or causes to be shipped into the State hybrids. A person who sells or ships hybrids to a person in South Carolina shall meet all requirements for sale. The department must be notified eight hours in advance of a shipment coming into the State of live hybrids or eggs of hybrids including the name and permit number of the receiver. The out-of-state permittee shall retain copies of invoices showing the date received, poundage, and receiver for three years. The permittee agrees to inspection during business hours or when employees are present.

SECTION 50-18-160. Invoices required for transporting hybrids; bill of lading required; inspection; labels.

A person who transports hybrids shall possess an invoice showing the number and the poundage of product possessed. If the person transporting or possessing hybrids is a common carrier or trucking company he shall possess a bill of lading showing the shipper and receiver and their aquaculture permit number if permitted. A person receiving for shipment or possessing hybrids agrees to inspection and sampling by the department. The carrier of hybrids agrees to inspection by his acceptance of the product for shipment. A person receiving hybrids for shipment shall maintain invoices and bills of lading for three years. No person may ship or transport a product unless the product is labeled as prescribed by this chapter.

SECTION 50-18-170. Possession of label unattached to product prohibited; exceptions.

It is unlawful for a person to possess a label required by this chapter unless it is attached to the product for which it is designed. However, this section does not apply to the aquaculturist, processor, or label manufacturer.

SECTION 50-18-180. Trafficking in striped bass or hybrids without permit prohibited.

No person may traffick in striped bass or its hybrids or product of them from the wild or from private waters not permitted as or for aquaculture operations.

SECTION 50-18-190. Tampering, vandalizing, poisoning, or stealing products or facilities prohibited; impeding aquaculturist prohibited.

No person may transfer, damage, vandalize, poison, steal, or attempt to tamper, damage, vandalize, poison, or steal the products or facilities of a permitted aquaculturist. No person may cast or cause to be cast poison, impurities, or other substances which are injurious to hybrids into the waters or water supply for a permitted aquaculture facility. No person may attempt to impair or impede an aquaculturist or his employees while in pursuit of lawful activities associated with aquaculture.

SECTION 50-18-200. Penalties.

The penalties for violating this chapter are:

For a first offense violation of a section, except Section 50-18-40, or if the money or other consideration exchanged for the product is of a value of one hundred dollars or less, the penalty is a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or imprisonment not more than thirty days. If the money or other consideration exchanged for the product is of a value of more than one hundred dollars, the penalty is a fine of not less than five hundred nor more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or both. In addition, if the money or other consideration is of a value of more than one hundred dollars, there is a penalty of twenty-five dollars a fish or part of a fish, and the person convicted may lose the permit or certificate of permission and hunting and fishing privileges for one year from the date of conviction.

For a second offense violation of a section, except Section 50-18-40, the fine is not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars or imprisonment not less than thirty days nor more than one year. In addition, there is a penalty of twenty-five dollars a fish or part of a fish, and the person convicted may lose the permit or certificate of permission and hunting and fishing privileges for three years from the date of conviction.

For a third or subsequent offense or for a violation of Section 50-18-40, the fine is five thousand dollars, no part of which may be suspended, or imprisonment for one year, or both. In addition, there is a penalty of twenty-five dollars a fish or part of a fish, and the person may lose the permit or certificate of permission and hunting and fishing privileges for three years from the date of conviction. Also, equipment used in the operation of an aquaculture or a processing business is forfeited to the department. Items forfeited may be utilized or sold by the department as it considers appropriate, and the proceeds of fines and forfeitures and the permit fees provided in Section 50-18-20 must be used to support the Aquaculture Inspection and Enforcement Program of the department.

ARTICLE 3.

[RESERVED]





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