08.02.03.14

.14 General Prohibitions.

A. Recreational.

(1) Except for crab pots from private property, dipnets, or handlines, a person may not set any crabbing gear or catch crabs for recreational purposes on Wednesdays in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries.

(2) When a State or federal holiday falls on a Wednesday or Thursday, recreational crabbing is permitted on the Wednesday of that week.

(3) An individual may not offer to sell or sell crabs that were caught for recreational purposes.

(4) An individual may not knowingly buy or offer to buy crabs which were caught for recreational purposes.

(5) An individual licensed to provide services as a fishing guide or to fish recreationally in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries may possess any number of soft crabs or male peeler crabs for the purposes of fishing.

(6) An individual licensed to catch crabs for commercial purposes:

(a) May catch crabs for recreational purposes with recreational crabbing gear without paying the fee for recreational crabbing set forth in Regulation .09 of this chapter; and

(b) Has the same restrictions as an individual with a recreational crabbing license when engaged in recreational crabbing activities.

B. Commercial — General.

(1) Except for a person who declares intent under §C of this regulation, a person licensed to catch crabs for sale may not set or retrieve gear or catch crabs for commercial purposes in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries on Sundays and Mondays.

(2) A person who is granted an alternate day off under §D of this regulation may not set or retrieve gear or catch crabs for commercial purposes on the alternate day off.

(3) The vessel of a person licensed to catch crabs for sale may not be used to set or retrieve gear or catch crabs for commercial purposes on the day or days on which the vessel's owner may not set or retrieve gear or catch crabs for commercial purposes.

(4) A person licensed to catch crabs for commercial purposes, who declares under §C(1) of this regulation, may set or retrieve gear or catch crabs for commercial purposes on a Sunday or Monday of a particular week if:

(a) A State or federal holiday falls on the Sunday or Monday, or the immediately preceding Saturday; or

(b) The Sunday or Monday precedes a State or federal holiday that falls on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday of the particular week.

(5) Mature female hard crabs shall be kept in separate bushels or barrels from male hard crabs or peeler crabs.

(6) Except as specified in §F(2) of this regulation, an individual licensed to catch crabs for commercial purposes may not catch or possess in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries more than:

(a) Five mature female hard crabs per bushel of male crabs; or

(b) 13 mature female hard crabs per barrel of male crabs.

(7) Beginning in 2010, an individual with a limited crab harvester (LCC) license will be considered as limited crab harvester — frozen license status, as specified in §F(2)(b) of this regulation, if that license is not designated as a:

(a) Limited crab harvester — active license; or

(b) Limited crab harvester — male only license.

(8) The commercial female crab daily catch limit shall be determined by the license type based on the abundance target for spawning age crabs recommended by the Chesapeake Bay Stock Assessment Committee.

(9) Except as provided in §B(11) of this regulation, an individual licensed to catch crabs for commercial purposes may not harvest or possess more mature female hard crabs daily than the catch limit specified by the individual's license type.

(10) Except as provided in §B(11) of this regulation, more than two licensees' daily catch limits from 1 day may not be harvested from, carried on, or possessed on a vessel while the licensees are on board.

(11) An individual may possess and transport crabs harvested from the waters of the Potomac River or Virginia if:

(a) The individual is not engaged in harvesting crabs in Maryland waters while the crabs harvested in the waters of the Potomac River or Virginia are on board the vessel; and

(b) The individual is in possession of a Virginia commercial crab harvester license or Potomac River Fisheries Commission commercial license.

C. Closed Day Declaration of Intent.

(1) A person licensed to catch crabs for sale and who wishes to set or retrieve gear or catch crabs on one of the required days off in §B(1) of this regulation shall declare that person's intent to set or retrieve gear or catch crabs in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries for commercial purposes on one of the required days off as specified in §B(1) of this regulation.

(2) Display of Declaration. The letters for the abbreviation of the day off shall be identified and displayed on the vessel and shall be painted or firmly attached to the port side near the stern of the vessel as follows:

(a) The letters shall be positioned in such a manner as to be clearly visible to persons in passing boats;

(b) The letters shall be plain vertical block characters of not less than 4 inches in height and shall contrast with the color of the background;

(c) The letters "SUN" shall be displayed as the abbreviation for Sundays; and

(d) The letters "MON" shall be displayed as the abbreviation for Monday.

(3) A person licensed to catch crabs for sale who declares a day off under §C(1) of this regulation shall declare a Sunday or Monday day off at the time of license renewal on forms provided by the Department.

(4) A person licensed to catch crabs for sale may only declare a day off at the time of license renewal or issuance.

D. Alternate Closed Day.

(1) A person licensed to catch crabs for sale may apply to the Department for an alternate to the closed days specified in §B(1) of this regulation. The Department may grant a licensee's request for an alternate closed day if the licensee demonstrates the:

(a) Imposition of substantial hardship on the licensee's exercise of religion by observing one of the closed days specified in §B(1) of this regulation; and

(b) Absence of substantial hardship on the licensee's exercise of religion by observing the alternate closed day requested in the application.

(2) An alternate closed day shall be displayed on the vessel in the manner set forth in §C(2) of this regulation using the first three letters of the day of the week.

(3) A licensee who is granted an alternate closed day may set gear and catch crabs on the closed days specified in §B(1) of this regulation.

E. Notwithstanding Natural Resources Article, §4-809, Annotated Code of Maryland, a person may not:

(1) Catch or possess more than 5 hard crabs per bushel or 13 hard crabs per barrel which measure less than the minimum size specified in these regulations;

(2) Possess hard crabs imported from another State which:

(a) Measure less than 5 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike;

(b) Do not comply with the tolerance limits of the jurisdiction of origin;

(c) Are not accompanied by a bill of sale or bill of lading from the jurisdiction of origin; and

(d) Were not caught in full compliance with the laws of the jurisdiction of origin;

(3) From April 1 through July 14, catch or possess a hard crab which measures less than 5 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike, from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, except that the minimum size of crabs does not apply to mature female crabs, identified by the apron;

(4) After July 14, catch or possess a hard crab which measures less than 5-1/4 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike from the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, except that the minimum size of crabs does not apply to mature female crabs, identified by the apron;

(5) Catch or possess a hard crab which measures less than 5 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike from the waters of Worcester County, except that the minimum size of crabs does not apply to mature female crabs, identified by the apron;

(6) Catch or possess more than 10 peeler crabs per bushel or more than 20 per float which are:

(a) Less than 3-1/4 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike during the period from April 1 through July 14; and

(b) Less than 3-1/2 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike during the period from July 15 through December 15; or

(7) Catch or possess more than one soft crab per 2 dozen soft crabs which is less than 3-1/2 inches across the shell from tip to tip of the spike.

F. Limited Crab Harvester.

(1) Latent Effort Limited Crab Harvester License.

(a) A limited crab harvester (LCC) authorization of a tidal fish license that has no reported crab harvest between January 1, 2004 and December 15, 2008 on reports submitted to the Department by January 30, 2009, shall be determined to be a latent effort limited crab harvester license, except for those licenses specified in §F(1)(b) of this regulation.

(b) Exceptions to Latent Effort Designation. The following are exceptions to the latent effort designation:

(i) An LCC authorization received through the apprenticeship program;

(ii) An LCC authorization received through a permanent license transfer between August 1, 2006 and July 8, 2009;

(iii) An LCC authorization assigned to an individual who provides appropriate documentation of active military service during the period January 1, 2004 and January 30, 2009;

(iv) An LCC assigned to an individual who completed a successful female bushel limit hardship appeal in 2008; and

(v) An LCC assigned to an individual who currently resides and has resided for at least 5 years on an island in the State that is at least 3 miles from the mainland.

(2) Latent Effort Limited Crab Harvester Status.

(a) An individual with a license that has been determined to be a latent effort license as described in §F(1) of this regulation is required to have declared their LCC license as a limited crab harvester — male only as described in §F(2)(b) of this regulation.

(b) An individual with a limited crab harvester license — male only status:

(i) Shall only harvest male crabs beginning on April 1, 2010;

(ii) May not harvest females at any time regardless of the blue crab population target level being achieved for 3 consecutive years;

(iii) Shall renew the license annually in accordance with the schedule and fees designated for a LCC authorization in Natural Resources Article, §4-701, Annotated Code of Maryland; and

(iv) May apply to the Department for a permanent or temporary transfer of the license through a family, business, or beneficiary transfer as described in Natural Resources Article, §4-701, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(c) The latent effort license status may not be modified after declaration even if the license has been transferred to a new owner.

(d) Conditions for using an LCC male only authorization as one of the required authorizations to upgrade to an unlimited tidal fish authorization are described in COMAR 08.02.01.05I.

(e) Notwithstanding Natural Resources Article, §4-701, Annotated Code of Maryland, any LCC which was previously frozen due to latent license status as described in §F(1) of this regulation will not be required to pay the authorization fee for the 2012 commercial crabbing season.

G. Public Notice. The Department may open, close, or modify a season, or catch limits to manage the harvest at safe management levels by:

(1) Publishing notice in a daily newspaper of general circulation at least 48 hours in advance of the time of modification, stating the effective hour and date; and

(2) Disseminating notice of modification through various other media so that an affected person has a reasonable opportunity to be informed.