Current Status Bill Number:
3524Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 19970225Primary Sponsor: AltmanAll Sponsors: AltmanDrafted Document Number: pt\2961djc.97Residing Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Agriculture, Natural Resources & Environmental Affairs Com 20 HANRSubject: Natural Resources Department, permits issued for holding facilities, horseshoe crabs, Fish and Game
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 19970225 Introduced, read first time, 20 HANR referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND SECTION 50-17-50, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERMITS FOR TAKING OF MARINE LIFE FOR EXPERIMENTAL OR SCIENTIFIC PURPOSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES MAY PRESCRIBE AND REQUIRE PERMITS OF PERSONS ENGAGED IN THE HOLDING AND PROPAGATION OF FISH, SHELLFISH, CRUSTACEANS, OR OTHER MARINE LIFE IN THE SALTWATERS OF THIS STATE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 50-17-165, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO PERMITS FOR TAKING OR POSSESSING HORSESHOE CRABS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT PERMITS ISSUED UNDER THIS SECTION MAY INCLUDE PROVISIONS AS TO HOLDING FACILITIES, CONDITIONS, AND PERIODS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT HORSESHOE CRABS FROM WHICH BLOOD IS COLLECTED FOR PRODUCTION OF AMEBOCYTE LYSATE MAY BE HELD IN FACILITIES APPROVED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND MUST BE HANDLED SO AS TO MINIMIZE INJURY TO THE CRAB.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 50-17-50 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 181 of 1993, is amended to read:
"Section 50-17-50. The department may prescribe and require permits of persons actually engaged in the taking, holding, and propagation of fish, shellfish, crustaceans, or other marine life in the saltwaters of this State for experimental commercial or scientific purposes not otherwise provided for by state law or departmental regulations. Permits issued for experimental commercial purposes may be for no more than two years and may not be renewed. Permits issued pursuant to this section may include provisions as to the areas, times, seasons, types of fishing equipment, species taken, catch reporting requirements, and other conditions as the division determines necessary. The department may issue special collecting permits without charge to qualified scientists, students, and other persons actually engaged in the study of marine biology. Marine life collected by persons issued special scientific permits under this section may not be used for personal consumption or for commercial purposes. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days. In addition, any person found guilty of a violation of any of the conditions or requirements of a permit issued under this section or convicted of a violation of applicable conservation laws or regulations, shall have the permit issued to him revoked or suspended for thirty days. Any boat, motor, or fishing equipment used by a person engaged in the taking of fish, shellfish, or other marine life without a permit as required by the department under this section or during the period which his permit has been suspended must be seized and, upon conviction, sold or redeemed as provided for in Section 50-17-650."
SECTION 2. Section 50-17-165 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 181 of 1993, is amended to read:
"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) holding facilities, conditions, and periods; and
(h) 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 may be held in facilities approved by the department and 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."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.