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2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 27-4-171 (2010)
TITLE 27 - GAME AND FISH
CHAPTER 4 - FISH
ARTICLE 4 - SEAFOOD
PART 3 - TAKING SHRIMP FOR BAIT
§ 27-4-171 - Bait dealers
27-4-171. Bait dealers
(a) (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to fish for shrimp for live bait to be sold, to engage in the sale of shrimp for live bait, or to engage in the sale of shrimp for dead bait unless the person has a bait dealer license and possesses a valid personal commercial fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23 or is an employee of a licensed bait dealer and possesses a valid personal commercial fishing license as provided in Code Section 27-2-23. No bait dealer license shall be issued to a person holding a commercial food shrimp cast netting license issued pursuant to Part 5 of this article. Any license issued pursuant to this Code section shall be invalid immediately upon the holder's obtaining such a commercial food shrimp cast netting license. No bait dealer license shall be issued for an individual whose establishment is located on any dock or other facility, including platforms, walkways, and buildings, which is one contiguous unit and where shrimp taken pursuant to Code Section 27-4-133 are processed, stored, or sold for retail purposes; provided, however, that such prohibition shall not apply to any person who was granted a bait dealer license for the period from April 1, 1993, through March 31, 1994, and whose bait dealer license was not revoked and provided, further, that such exemption shall terminate immediately if the person's current bait dealer license is revoked by the commissioner or if he or she is found guilty of a violation of the provisions of this Code section.
(2) In addition to complying with subsection (b) of this Code section, any applicant for a bait dealer license must first file with the commissioner a forfeiture bond in the form prescribed by the department, executed by a bonding, surety, or insurance company licensed to do business in this state, in the favor of the state in the amount of $2,000.00, conditioned upon the faithful compliance by the person and all his or her employees with all the laws and regulations relating to the taking, possession, and sale of bait shrimp, provided that a cash forfeiture bond in like amount may be substituted in lieu of the commercial bond provided for in this Code section. The term of the bond shall be one year and shall correspond to the period of the bait dealer license, which shall be April 1 to March 31. The bond shall be in addition to the commercial fishing boat license, where applicable, required by Code Section 27-2-8 and in addition to the personal commercial fishing license required by this Code section. Notation of execution of the bond shall be stamped or endorsed on the applicant's bait dealer license.
(3) Trawler licenses for bait shrimp trawling shall not be issued to any person who does not possess a valid bait dealer license unless such person is an employee of a licensed bait dealer.
(4) In addition to the general provisions of this Code section, the Board of Natural Resources is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations establishing the gear and methods allowed for commercial bait shrimping.
(5) It shall be unlawful for any person fishing for shrimp for live bait pursuant to this Code section to:
(A) Use any power-drawn net which is larger than a 20 foot net or constructed of mesh smaller than one inch or greater than one and three-eighths inches when stretched;
(B) Fish for shrimp pursuant to this Code section at night. All salt waters of this state shall be closed to fishing for shrimp pursuant to this Code section, except those rivers or creeks or portions thereof opened to such taking. The determination of whether to open or close a river or creek or portion thereof shall be made by the commissioner or his or her designee in accordance with current, sound principles of wildlife research and management as provided by Code Section 27-4-130;
(C) Have on board the boat used for fishing for shrimp pursuant to this Code section more than 50 quarts of shrimp at any one time, no more than 10 percent of which may be dead;
(D) Fail to maintain on the commercial fishing boat bait-holding facilities which comply with the requirements set forth in subsection (b) of this Code section, except that it shall not be necessary for the boat to meet the requirements of paragraph (5) of subsection (b) of this Code section; or
(E) Hold a valid commercial food shrimp cast netting license issued pursuant to Part 5 of this article or to employ any person holding such a commercial food shrimp cast netting license.
(b) After April 1, 1995, all applicants for bait dealer licenses and, except as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, all licensed bait dealers shall have and maintain facilities meeting the following requirements:
(1) Live bait shrimp facilities must be located within the salt waters of the state, as defined by the salt-water demarcation line described in Code Section 27-4-1, and such facilities must consist of either floating bait containers or tanks with circulating or recirculating systems to provide an exchange of salt waters. Floating bait containers must be permanently affixed to docks or other permanent structures which are attached to high ground above the high water mark and must be constructed with adequate openings to provide for a steady exchange of salt water. Tanks with circulating salt-water systems must include adequate spray outlets to provide aeration as well as sufficient water inlets to create a circulating flow within the bait tank;
(2) All live shrimp-holding facilities must be constructed of nontoxic materials or materials which have been properly treated with an approved nontoxic substance. The facilities must be maintained in a condition conducive to keeping shrimp alive, which requires regular cleaning and the removal of dead shrimp;
(3) Any live bait shrimp dealership which is not within one-half mile of public salt-water angling access shall be required to maintain public access to customers through such services as public launching facilities, public fishing docks or platforms, or other forms of salt-water access during all tidal stages, including without limitation vehicular access and public parking; provided, however, that any live bait dealership which derives at least $5,000.00 of earned income from the sale of recreational fishing supplies and accessories associated with salt-water angling shall be exempt from the provisions of this paragraph. Any dealer claiming such exemption shall provide such records as the department deems necessary to evidence such sales;
(4) No organisms other than shrimp may be held in live shrimp bait tanks; and
(5) Freezer storage sufficient to freeze and to keep frozen any shrimp which die while in possession of the dealer and which are to be sold as dead bait must be maintained on the premises of the established bait dealership.
(c) Except as provided for in subsection (j) of this Code section, it shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer to allow shrimp to be removed from the premises of his or her established bait dealership unless it is sold as:
(1) Live bait in a container of such size as to ensure that all live shrimp therein are covered by a minimum of one inch of salt water; or
(2) Dead bait which has been packaged with heads on and frozen. The packages shall contain not more than one quart of dead shrimp and must be clearly marked with letters at least one-half inch in height to read as follows: "SOLD FOR BAIT ONLY." Dead bait purchased for resale must be purchased from a licensed bait dealer and must be packaged and labeled as described in this Code section.
(d) It shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer to fail to keep all shrimp in salt-water tanks meeting the standards prescribed in subsection (b) of this Code section unless and until such shrimp die, in which case the shrimp shall be promptly frozen and packaged as dead bait. It shall also be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer intentionally to cause or allow live shrimp to die.
(e) It shall be unlawful for any person to use, for other commercial fishing purposes, any equipment which has been used for obtaining live bait pursuant to this Code section.
(f) It shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer or any of his or her employees to have or permit in or on a commercial bait fishing boat owned by the dealer or such employees and used for bait shrimping pursuant to this Code section or to have or permit in or on the premises of the established bait dealership any shrimp caught, sold, to be sold, or to be disposed of for human consumption.
(g) It shall be unlawful for a licensed bait dealer to fail to maintain at all times a daily record book showing, for each transaction, the amount of bait shrimp purchased, the person from whom it was purchased, and the date of such purchase, as well as the amount of live shrimp and the amount of dead shrimp sold daily. Any such report shall include, without limitation, any transaction between licensed bait dealers and shall provide the name of the dealership acting as the seller in the transaction. Written reports of such transactions for each month shall be submitted to the department no later than the fifth day of the subsequent month in a format prescribed by the department.
(h) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of, for human consumption, any shrimp caught pursuant to this Code section or to possess such shrimp for the purpose of sale or other distribution for human consumption or personally to consume such shrimp. Possession of shrimp with heads off shall be prima-facie evidence that the shrimp are to be sold for human consumption or are personally to be consumed. Possession of more than 20 quarts of unlabeled, unpackaged, or unfrozen heads-on shrimp shall be prima-facie evidence that such shrimp are to be used for human consumption or are personally to be consumed.
(i) It shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer or an employee of such person to sell or otherwise distribute to any one person, within a 24 hour period, more than eight quarts of shrimp taken pursuant to this Code section. It shall also be unlawful for any person to buy, within a 24 hour period, more than eight quarts of shrimp taken pursuant to this Code section.
(j) It shall be unlawful to sell, unload, or otherwise dispose of shrimp taken pursuant to this Code section at any place other than the licensed bait dealership for which the bait was taken. This subsection shall not prohibit:
(1) The transfer from the boat taking such shrimp to an approved vehicle with aeration equipment to keep shrimp alive which will unload shrimp so taken at a licensed bait dealership so long as the amount of bait being transferred does not exceed 50 quarts; or
(2) The interstate import of bait shrimp provided that a bona fide bill of lading accompanies such shrimp as proof that such shrimp were not taken or transported in violation of this Code section or the laws of the jurisdiction from which the bait shrimp originated.
(k) It shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer to have, at his or her established bait dealership at one time, more than 200 quarts of live shrimp. It shall also be unlawful for more than 10 percent of the shrimp at the dealership or 20 quarts, whichever amount is less, to be dead shrimp unless the dead shrimp in excess of such percentage are promptly frozen and packaged as dead bait as required by paragraph (2) of subsection (c) and subsection (d) of this Code section.
(l) It shall be unlawful for any person fishing for shrimp pursuant to this Code section to fail to have positioned on the bow or cabin of the boat being used for fishing for shrimp a board with a background color of daylight fluorescent orange with such numerals and letters painted or affixed thereon as are specified by the department for a particular established bait dealership. The numerals and letters shall be at least 16 inches in height and two inches in width or thickness, black in color, of block character, clearly legible, and spaced so as to be readable from the air from left to right. The numerals and letters required for compliance with this subsection shall be assigned by the department at the time the bait dealer licenses are issued pursuant to Code Section 27-2-23.
(m) It shall be unlawful for more than one boat to be in use for fishing for shrimp at any one time for an established bait dealer.
(n) It shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer to fail to publicly advertise his or her facility. For the purpose of advertising in accordance with this subsection, each established bait shrimp dealer shall display prominently on the road or drive leading to the facility and on any related dock a sign or signs which shall include the following: (1) "LIVE BAIT FOR SALE" and (2) the hours and days of operation. Signs shall be at least 24 inches by 18 inches in size and shall display letters and numbers at least three inches in height.
(o) Notwithstanding subsections (i) and (j) of this Code section, it shall be lawful for a licensed bait dealer to sell live bait shrimp taken pursuant to this Code section to another licensed bait dealer if the department has been previously notified of the destination of the shrimp to be sold and the time and approximate amount of the sale and if the department has approved the equipment for transferring such shrimp. Transportation and transfer of live bait shrimp between bait dealers shall not exceed the 50 quart possession limit for commercial bait trawlers as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section. Except as provided for in subsection (j) of this Code section, land transportation of quantities greater than eight quarts of live shrimp is prohibited and shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of this Code section.
(p) It shall be unlawful for any licensed bait dealer to fail to have and display any current business license required by the county or city in which the bait dealership is located and a sales tax certificate of registration issued pursuant to Code Section 48-8-59.
(q) Before the Department of Natural Resources issues a bait dealer license the Department of Natural Resources shall inspect the bait dealer facilities, to determine if the facilities comply with the requirements of this Code section and Code Section 48-8-59, within 30 days from the time application for license is received.
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