N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25A-2.3

Current through Vol. 53, No. 10, May 17, 2021
Section 7:25A-2.3 - General control methods for direct market harvest season
(a) Except as provided at 7:25A-2.2(a), no person or vessel shall take, attempt to take, harvest, or dredge for oysters, on the State's natural seed beds without possessing a licensed oyster dredge vessel and harvest tags as described in 7:25A-1.8(a) and 2.6.
(b) The requirements and conditions for the direct market harvest of oysters from natural seed beds in Delaware Bay are as follows:
1. Oysters shall be harvested from the State's natural seed beds only on Monday through Friday between sunrise and 3:30 P.M. Eastern Time, unless otherwise determined by the Division in consultation with the Council. Notice of any change in these times shall be provided by first class mail to each oyster dredge vessel license holder participating in the direct market harvest program.
2. The harvester shall notify the Department of the intended harvest location and port of landing of the vessel prior to commencement of harvesting for each harvest trip. Prior to offloading, the harvester shall notify the Department of the vessel's total harvest for that harvest trip. The notifications shall be made by telephoning the Division's Delaware Bay Office, Bureau of Shellfisheries, at (856) 785-0730. Notification of changes in port of landing shall be given two hours prior to landing.
3. The minimum size limit for seed oysters taken for direct market sale shall be two and one-half inches in height from hinge to lip.
4. Any harvester who has reported his or her intention to harvest on the State's natural seed beds shall have the vessel's entire harvest for that harvest trip counted as part of the licensed vessel's individual allocation for that season.
5. A harvester shall not transfer oysters from any oyster vessel to any other vessel. All oysters harvested from the natural seed beds shall be landed at one of the designated landing sites described at 7:25A-1.9. Specific hours of landing may be established by the Division as conditions attendant to the opening of the direct market harvest oyster season pursuant to 7:25A-2.4(a). Notice of any change in hours of landing shall be provided by first class mail to each oyster dredge vessel license holder participating in the direct market harvest program.
6. During a direct market harvest season, all harvesters must notify the Delaware Bay Office of the intent to work any leased grounds. No vessel shall take or possess oysters from the natural seed beds above the southwest line on the same day such vessel harvests on leased shellfish grounds.
7. The top and sides of licensed oyster dredge vessels shall be marked with the license number, each number at least 18 inches in height, clearly legible and in good repair and with no obstruction to view.
8. The harvester and any other person aboard any licensed oyster dredge vessel shall immediately comply with instructions and signals issued by an authorized law enforcement officer or other Division representative and comply with his or her instructions to facilitate safe boarding and inspection of the vessel, its gear, equipment, and catch.
(c) All oysters harvested for direct market shall be landed in their shells and offloaded in 24-bushel cages or one-bushel containers and shall be subject to the following:
1. All oysters harvested for direct market shall be stored in a container and each container shall be tagged with tags obtained from the Division for the total number of bushels of oysters within the container.
2. Tags shall be affixed to containers immediately upon use, regardless of the volume of oysters placed in the container. The tags shall be used sequentially as issued for the specific licensed oyster harvest vessel. Tags shall remain in place until the oysters are landed and delivered for sale by the harvester to the oyster dealer, at which point the exact number of bushels offloaded must be recorded by the oyster dealer on the weekly oyster dealer report in accordance with 7:25A-1.12 and signed by the oyster dealer.
3. No container shall be tagged prior to being filled with oysters. Tags affixed to empty containers shall be subject to removal and confiscation by Division personnel. No empty container with tags affixed shall be placed onboard any licensed oyster vessel being prepared to harvest oysters from the seed beds. Only 24-bushel bulk tags shall be affixed to cages. Single one-bushel tags may be affixed to a maximum of one partially filled cage.
4. Tags shall not be altered in any manner.
5. For culling purposes during harvesting operations, harvesters may utilize, without tagging, one one-bushel capacity basket per deckhand to temporarily hold oysters prior to transferring to a cage.
(d) Harvesters who elect to plant all or part of their individual allocation, assigned in accordance with 7:25A-2.5(b), on their leased ground shall do so in accordance with the following conditions:
1. The Division, in consultation with the Council, may limit the times and manner in which individuals may plant all or part of their direct market harvest season allocation on their leased grounds as conditions attendant to the opening of the direct market harvest oyster season pursuant to 7:25A-2.4(a). Notice of any change in times or manner of planting shall be provided by first class mail to each oyster dredge vessel license holder participating in the direct market harvest program.
2. The harvester shall notify the Delaware Bay Office by telephone (856-785-0730) at least three days prior to the anticipated planting day as well as the morning of the actual planting day prior to the initiation of harvesting from the natural seed beds.
3. Prior to harvest, the harvester shall purchase and retain on the harvest vessel the number of tags corresponding with the anticipated bushel volume to be transplanted. Containerization of oysters harvested during the direct market harvest season is optional when the harvester elects to transplant the oysters to leased ground.
4. Prior to leaving the harvest area, the harvester shall notify the Delaware Bay Office by telephone (856-785-0730) of the anticipated time of arrival at a specified lease section and lot number.
5. No oysters shall be planted until after the volume is confirmed by the Division during an inspection conducted in accordance with (d)6 below or the Division has given the harvester approval to plant the oysters by telephone (856-785-0730) or VHF radio communication, should circumstances prevent an on-water inspection.
6. Prior to commencement of planting, Division personnel may meet the harvest vessel to confirm the volume of oysters being transplanted. At that time, the harvester shall provide Division personnel with the appropriate number of tags for the volume to be planted. Tags shall be used sequentially as issued for the specific, appropriately licensed oyster harvest vessel. If an on-water inspection is not conducted, the harvester shall return the number of tags corresponding to the actual bushel volume transplanted to the Delaware Bay Office within five business days.
7. To reduce the potential removal of oysters less than two and one-half inches in height by harvesters who elect to transplant all or part of their allocation during a direct market harvest season, the Division, in consultation with the Council, may close specific seed beds to such transplant harvest. Notice of any closure shall be provided by first class mail to each oyster dredge vessel license holder participating in the direct market harvest program.
8. Any harvester unable to plant seed oysters because of mechanical problems, water conditions or other verifiable emergency shall immediately telephone the Delaware Bay Office at (856) 785-0730 and obtain the Division's direction as to how to proceed.
9. The Division, in consultation with the Council, may require harvesters authorized to harvest seed oysters from the natural seed beds to move specified quantities of seed oysters from one location on the natural seed beds to another. Notice of any such requirement shall be provided by first class mail to each oyster dredge vessel license holder participating in the direct market harvest program.

N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25A-2.3