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      RS 56:433.1     

  

§433.1. Oyster seed ground vessel permit; Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board

            A. (1) Any oysters taken for commercial purposes from the public natural reefs or the oyster seed grounds or reservations, except those in Calcasieu Lake or Sabine Lake, shall be placed only on a vessel which has an oyster seed ground vessel permit issued exclusively by the department pursuant to rules and regulations promulgated by the commission. The commission may establish a limit on the number of permits that may be issued each year after consultation with the Louisiana Oyster Task Force. Such permit shall be issued in the name of the vessel owner and shall identify the vessel permitted by including the state registration number or the United States Coast Guard documented number. The permit shall identify the vessel that may possess and transport oysters taken from the public natural reefs and oyster seed grounds. The permit does not grant any rights to the oyster resource or any rights to harvest oysters from the waters of the state and shall not be sold, exchanged, or otherwise transferred. The permit is valid for one year, beginning on January first of each calendar year and expiring on December thirty-first of the same calendar year, and permit holders who hold a valid permit during the prior year may renew the permit at any time of the year for the current license year and from November fifteenth for the immediately following license year. The cost of the permit for a single scraper vessel shall be two hundred fifty dollars for a resident and one thousand dollars for a nonresident and the permit for a double scraper vessel shall be five hundred dollars for a resident and two thousand for a nonresident. After having been credited to the Bond Security and Redemption Fund as required by Article VII, Section 9(B) of the Constitution of Louisiana, all revenues received from purchase of the permit shall be deposited in the Public Oyster Seed Ground Development Account, R.S. 56:434.1.

            (2) Vessel owners, as listed in the official record of the department at the time of application, who meet the requirements of Subsection B of this Section shall have the right to submit to the department a new application for an oyster seed ground vessel permit. Except as authorized in Paragraph (B)(4) of this Section, no new applications for such vessel permits shall be accepted after December 31, 2012. A vessel owner shall be eligible for a permit only for each vessel which can be used to meet the qualifications for a permit under the provisions of Subsection B of this Section.

            (3) The taking of oysters from the public natural reefs or the oyster seed grounds or reservations without an oyster seed ground vessel permit shall be a class two violation subject to the penalties provided in R.S. 56:32 and to the requirements of R.S. 56:424.1.

            (4) In an effort to collect data to enable the department to better manage the public oyster resource, the commission may adopt rules and regulations which require the use of a vessel monitoring system for use by a vessel taking oysters for commercial purposes under the authority of the oyster seed ground vessel permit. Any data collected by the department shall be confidential and shall not be subject to the Public Records Law.

            B. The following vessel owners, as listed in the official records of the department at the time of application for the permit or who can, at the time of application, demonstrate to the department that ownership of that vessel has transferred to them, shall be eligible to receive an oyster seed ground vessel permit:

            (1) Any person who owned a vessel that was licensed at any time between January 1, 2004, and May 1, 2009, and can demonstrate through trip ticket submissions that that vessel had oyster landings in the state of Louisiana between January 1, 2004, and May 1, 2009.

            (2) Any person who purchased or constructed a vessel and licensed that vessel in the state of Louisiana between January 1, 2004, and May 1, 2009, and who can demonstrate through trip ticket submissions that oysters were landed on that vessel in the state of Louisiana between the time of the vessel's purchase or construction and May 1, 2009.

            (3) Any person who can provide evidence that he has a vessel that is under construction in the state of Louisiana that is at least fifty percent complete on May 1, 2009.

            (4)(a) Notwithstanding the application date limitation contained in Paragraph (A)(2) of this Section, a person who owns an oyster vessel and who has satisfactorily completed the requirements of a professionalism program may submit an application for an oyster seed ground vessel permit under the provisions of this Section.

            (b) The commission shall develop, establish, and monitor a professionalism program for the purpose of training vessel owners in the appropriate methods and practices of oyster harvest from the public seed grounds.

            C. There is hereby created the Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to be composed of Louisiana licensed oyster harvesters who hold oyster seed ground vessel permits appointed as follows:

            (1) Two members appointed by the Louisiana Oyster Dealers and Growers Association, one member to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Mississippi/Louisiana state line and the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line, including Orleans Parish, and one member to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line and the Louisiana/Texas state line.

            (2) One member appointed by the Plaquemines Oyster Association to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Mississippi/Louisiana state line and the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line.

            (3) One member appointed by the Terrebonne Oyster Association to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line and the Louisiana/Texas state line.

            (4) One member appointed by the Southwest Pass Oyster Dealers and Growers Association to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line and the Louisiana/Texas state line.

            (5) One member appointed by the United Commercial Fisherman's Association to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Mississippi/Louisiana state line and the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line.

            (6) One member appointed by the Delta Commercial Fisherman's organization to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Mississippi/Louisiana state line and the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line.

            (7) One member who is an oyster grower appointed by the president of the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Mississippi/Louisiana state line and the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line.

            (8) One member appointed by the Louisiana Oystermen Association to be appointed from the coastal parishes located between the Mississippi/Louisiana state line and the Plaquemines/Jefferson Parish line, including Orleans Parish.

            D.(1) The Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board is established to hear appeals of oyster seed ground vessel permit applications denied by the department. The board shall be limited to determinations of the eligibility of a permit applicant for a permit and to instances where a permit may be issued based on a determination of hardship. The commission shall promulgate guidelines to be used by the board to determine an applicant's eligibility and whether or not an applicant should be granted a permit. Such determination shall require a favorable vote of a majority of the appointed members of the board and the record of decision shall clearly state the reasons or rationale for granting or denying the permit.

            (2) The board shall be subject to the Open Meetings Law and the Public Records Act. A quorum is required to conduct business. Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

            (3) Any decision of the board or the department regarding issuance or the lack of issuance of a permit may be appealed de novo to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court.

            E. Repealed by Acts 2016, No. 291, §2.

            Acts 2008, No. 922, §2, eff. July 14, 2008; Acts 2009, No. 376, §1; Acts 2011, No. 266, §2; Acts 2012, No. 85, §1; Acts 2013, No. 20, §1; Acts 2016, No. 291, §§1, 2.



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