South Carolina General Assembly
109th Session, 1991-1992

Bill 835

                    Current Status

Introducing Body:               Senate
Bill Number:                    835
Ratification Number:            166
Act Number:                     101
Primary Sponsor:                Martschink
Type of Legislation:            GB
Subject:                        Horseshoe crabs
Companion Bill Number:          3762
Date Bill Passed both Bodies:   May 23, 1991
Computer Document Number:       NO5/7401.BD
Governor's Action:              S
Date of Governor's Action:      May 29, 1991
Introduced Date:                Apr 02, 1991
Last History Body:              ------
Last History Date:              May 29, 1991
Last History Type:              Act No. 101
Scope of Legislation:           Statewide
All Sponsors:                   Martschink
Type of Legislation:            General Bill


 Bill  Body    Date          Action Description              CMN
 ----  ------  ------------  ------------------------------  ---
 835   ------  May 29, 1991  Act No. 101
 835   ------  May 29, 1991  Signed by Governor
 835   ------  May 27, 1991  Ratified R 166
 835   House   May 23, 1991  Read third time, enrolled for
 835   House   May 22, 1991  Read second time
 835   House   May 16, 1991  Recalled from Committee         20
 835   House   Apr 11, 1991  Introduced, read first time,    20
                             referred to Committee
 835   Senate  Apr 10, 1991  Read third time, sent to House
 835   Senate  Apr 09, 1991  Read second time
 835   Senate  Apr 04, 1991  Committee Report: Favorable     07
 835   Senate  Apr 02, 1991  Introduced, read first time,    07
                             referred to Committee

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(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

(A101, R166, S835)


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

Taking or possessing horseshoe crabs; penalties

SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 50-17-165. (A) The taking or possessing of horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) from the waters and bottoms of the State is lawful only under a permit issued by the department as prescribed in this section. The lawful hours to trawl for horseshoe crabs are as provided in Section 50-17-640.

(B) A person who catches, takes, or possesses a horseshoe crab or its parts other than for a scientific purpose as provided in Section 50-17-50 must have a valid permit issued by the department and must obtain the individual licenses required by this article. A boat or vessel used by a permittee engaged in trawling, dragging, towing, or fishing with a net, a dredge, a trap, or other commercial fishing device must be licensed as required under this article. However, the catching or capture of horseshoe crabs incidentally or inadvertently during legal fishing operations for other species of marine fish or invertebrates does not violate this section if the horseshoe crabs immediately are returned to the water unharmed.

(C) (1) Permits issued under this section may include provisions as to:

(a) lawful fishing areas;

(b) minimum size requirements for horseshoe crabs;

(c) mesh size and dimensions of nets and other harvesting devices;

(d) bycatch requirements;

(e) fishing times or periods;

(f) catch reporting requirements;

(g) other conditions the department determines.

(2) In areas closed to trawling or other fishing activities the department may permit the taking of horseshoe crabs but shall limit fishing equipment and methods to trawls or devices specifically designed for taking horseshoe crabs.

(D) Horseshoe crabs from which blood is collected for production of amebocyte lysate must be handled so as to minimize injury to the crab. Horseshoe crabs collected in South Carolina must be returned unharmed to state waters of comparable salinity and water quality as soon as possible after bleeding.

(E) The penalties for a violation of this section, upon conviction, are as prescribed in Section 50-17-100. Upon the conviction of a permittee for a violation of this section or a requirement of a permit, his permit may be suspended or revoked by the department. If a person operates a boat or vessel pursuant to this section when his permit is suspended or revoked, the boat or vessel must be seized and disposed of as provided under Section 50-17-650."

Time effective

SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

Approved the 29th day of May, 1991.