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      RS 56:449     

  

§449. Tags; distribution; use; containers; penalties

            A. Sacks and any other types of containers used to hold oysters and other mollusks while in their shells shall be identified by official tags. The department shall have exclusive authority over the distribution of these tags. The use of these tags is required of all persons taking oysters or other mollusks from the waters of the state for sale. Tags issued by the department shall be identified with and traceable to the license of the oyster lessee or oyster fisherman. The lessee or oyster fisherman shall write in the appropriate places on the tag all information required by the Louisiana Department of Health, office of public health, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

            B. The department shall establish uniform fees for such tags. The fees shall be sufficient in amount to cover the cost of the tags as well as the administrative costs of distribution. In addition to the established uniform fee, there shall be an additional fee of five cents per tag which shall be deposited into the Oyster Development Account within the Seafood Promotion and Marketing Fund.

            C. All oysters and other molluscan species taken from Louisiana waters for sale which are sacked or otherwise containerized while in the shell and on board a fisherman's vessel shall be tagged prior to removal from the vessel. The tag shall include all information required by the Louisiana Department of Health, office of public health, and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. All oysters and other molluscan species which are to be sacked or otherwise containerized while in the shell at dockside shall be containerized and tagged immediately upon arrival at the dock prior to shipment.

            D. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell for resale or to purchase for resale untagged sacks or containers of oysters or other molluscan species.

            E. Possession of untagged sacks or containers other than on board the fisherman's vessel or on the dock prior to shipment shall be deemed a violation of this Section. If the amount of untagged sacks or containers possessed is ten percent or less, the violator shall be subject to a class one penalty as described in R.S. 56:31. If the amount of untagged sacks or containers possessed is greater than ten percent, the violator shall be subject to the penalties as specified in Subsection K of this Section. Only untagged or improperly tagged sacks or containers of oysters may be seized in connection with any violation of this Subsection. Any oysters seized in connection with violations of this Subsection shall be disposed of pursuant to the policies and procedures established and promulgated by the department.

            F. All persons fishing within the boundaries of the state, but not desiring to land said catch within the jurisdiction of the state, shall tag with prescribed Louisiana tags all sacks or containers prior to leaving the state. All persons fishing shellfish outside the jurisdictional boundaries of the state of Louisiana, but desiring to land within the boundaries of the state, shall have all sacks or containers tagged according to the rules of the state from which fished.

            G. Untagged or improperly tagged sacks or containers of oysters or other molluscan species found in commerce within the state, other than on board the fisherman's vessel or on the dock prior to shipment, shall be deemed to have been taken in polluted waters and constitute a hazard to the safety, health, and welfare of the citizens of the state.

            H. Authorized agents of the department, state and local health officials, and state and local law enforcement officials shall be authorized to enforce the provisions of this Section, and shall have the authority, additionally, to seize all untagged sacks or containers found in connection with any arrests hereunder and to dispose thereof in accordance with law.

            I. It shall be a violation of this Section for any manufacturer, distributor, dealer, supplier, or wholesaler to sell or distribute shucked oyster containers to any person or persons, corporation, business, or firm that has not been certified by the Seafood Sanitation Unit of the Office of Public Health, Louisiana Department of Health. The packer, distributor, or purchaser shall not resell the shucked oyster container. It shall be a violation of this Section if any nonresident purchaser of new and unused shucked oyster containers does not have in his possession a valid certificate from an appropriate state agency that regulates the seafood industry.

            J. The department shall require that all persons who containerize shucked oysters or other molluscan species keep accurate records of the source of the oysters in order that said oysters can be traced back to the identifying tag and shall require, further, that such containers be labelled as a source of identification in a manner to be prescribed by the secretary.

            K. A violation of this Section shall constitute a class III violation and any oyster seized in connection with this violation shall be disposed of pursuant to the policies and procedures established by the department.

            Acts 1981, No. 925, §1; Acts 1986; No. 522, §1; Acts 1986, No. 523, §1; Acts 1992, No. 268, §1; Acts 1993, No. 179, §1; Acts 1995, No. 448, §1; Acts 1999, No. 622, §1; Acts 2004, No. 213, §3.



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