2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft
Chapter 5 - MARINE RESOURCES ACT
Section 50-5-1330 - Horseshoe crab permits, taking and handling requirements; penalty.
(A) Taking or possessing horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) is unlawful except under permit granted by the department.
(B) The department may permit the taking or possession of horseshoe crabs. Permits granted under this section may include provisions as to lawful fishing areas; minimum size requirements for horseshoe crabs; mesh size and dimensions of nets and other harvesting devices; by catch requirements; fishing times or periods; catch reporting requirements; holding facilities, conditions, and periods; and other conditions the department determines.
(C) 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 this State must be returned unharmed to state waters of comparable salinity and water quality as soon as possible after bleeding unless subsequent retention is permitted.
(D) The taking of horseshoe crabs incidentally during legal fishing operations does not violate this section if the crabs are returned immediately to the water unharmed.
(E) The department may grant permits to institutions and persons engaged in science instruction or curation to possess no more than five horseshoe crabs or parts thereof for such purposes, and permittees are not required to be licensed under this chapter.
(F) No horseshoe crab collected in South Carolina may be removed from this State.
(G) A person who violates this section or a condition of a permit issued hereunder is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days. Each horseshoe crab or part thereof in violation is a separate offense.
HISTORY: 2000 Act No. 245, Section 7; 2002 Act No. 342, Section 51.
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