2017 Mississippi Code
Title 49 - Conservation and Ecology
Chapter 15 - Seafood
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 49-15-38. Culling requirements; collection and planting of shells; penalties and fees for failure to deliver shells

Universal Citation: MS Code § 49-15-38 (2017)
  • (1) (a) Unless otherwise permitted by the commission, no oysters shall be taken from the reefs of this state unless culled upon the natural reefs, and all oysters less than three (3) inches from end to end, and all dead shells, shall be replaced, scattered and broadcast immediately on the natural reefs from which they are taken. It is unlawful for any captain or person in charge of any vessel, or any canner, packer, commission man, dealer or other person to purchase, sell or to have in that person's possession or under that person's control any oysters off the public reefs or private bedding grounds not culled according to this section, or any oysters under the legal size. A ten percent (10%) tolerance shall be allowed in relation to any culling.
    • (b) The commission may authorize the culling of oysters of a lesser measure. That authorization shall be in response to special circumstances or extreme natural conditions affecting the habitat, including, but not limited to, flooding. The department may establish checkpoints in any area within its jurisdiction to conduct inspections, collect fees and issue tags in the enforcement of this chapter and regulations adopted by the commission.
  • (2) The commission shall acquire and replant shells, seed oysters and other materials, when funding is available, for the purpose of growing oysters.
  • (3) Any person, firm or corporation failing or refusing to pay the shell retention fee required under Section 49-15-46 to the department when called for by the department, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than One Hundred Dollars ($ 100.00) for each barrel of shells for which they fail or refuse to tender the shell retention fee. In addition to the fine, the violator shall pay the reasonable value of the oyster shells and shall be ineligible to be licensed for any activity set forth in this chapter for a period of two (2) years from the date of conviction.
  • (4) The planting of oyster shells as provided under this chapter shall be under the direction and supervision of the executive director of the department. The governing authorities of each county and municipality bordering upon the Mississippi Sound may assist the commission in the planting and replanting of oyster shells.
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