RE: 2016 SHELLFISH TEMPERATURE CONTROLS
Jim Kelley, Acting Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective immediately, the following restrictions will apply to the harvest, transport, and storage of oysters and clams taken from Coastal Fishing Waters:
I.TIME PERIOD AND FISHERIES
The following restrictions are in effect for all commercial oyster and clam harvesting operations for the time periods listed below:
A. Year round for clams;
B. October through March for oysters.
Relaying and transplanting activities are not considered harvesting operations.
II. TAGGING REQUIREMENTS
It is unlawful to possess oysters or clams in a commercial fishing operation without a harvest tag recording the time of the start of harvest, and information as described in 15A NCAC 03K .0109, affixed to each container of oysters or clams. The time of the start of harvest shall be the time when the first oyster or clam is initially removed from the water.
III. TRANSPORT AND STORAGE RESTRICTIONS
A. It is unlawful for harvesters to fail to deliver oysters and clams harvested from Coastal Fishing Waters to a licensed shellfish dealer within 12 hours of the time of the start of harvest.
B. It is unlawful for a licensed shellfish dealer to receive oysters or clams from Coastal Fishing Waters where the interval between the time of the start of harvest on the harvest tag attached to the container holding the oysters or clams and the time of receipt exceeds 12 hours.
C. t is unlawful for a licensed shellfish dealer to fail to record the following information at the time of receipt of oysters or clams from Coastal Fishing Waters:
2. Harvest area;
3. Time of the start of harvest;
4. Quantity and type of shellfish received;
5. Time shellfish were received; and
6. Time shellfish were refrigerated.
D. It is unlawful for a licensed shellfish dealer to fail to place oysters and clams under mechanical refrigeration within two hours of receipt from a harvester.
IV. GENERAL INFORMATION:
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C. General Statutes. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 113-221.2; 143B-289.52; and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 03K .0110.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance requires shellfish harvesters to:
1. Keep shellfish out of bilge water and protected from contamination from fuel, oil, and other contaminants;
2. Shade shellfish when necessary to reduce the chance of temperature abuse.
3. Protect shellfish from adulteration and contamination during transport.
4. Prevent cats, dogs, and other animals on harvest vessels or in any conveyance where shellfish is stored; and
5. Prevent overboard discharge of human sewage from harvest vessels.
D. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c) All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.
E. Contact Shannon Jenkins at N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-6827 or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit our website at https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/marine-fisheries/.
F. This proclamation supersedes SS-1-2015 dated April 24, 2015. It reestablishes with no changes the National Shellfish Sanitation Program requirements that mandate measures to control the temperature of oysters and clams after harvest. These measures will reduce post-harvest growth of potentially hazardous, naturally occurring bacteria in these shellfish.
March 29, 2016