08.02.04.03

.03 Catching Oysters for Commercial Purposes.

A. Season, Days, and Catch Limits.

(1) The season for catching oysters and the days of the week that an individual may catch oysters for commercial purposes shall be established for each gear type, and may be modified, through a public notice issued in accordance with Regulation .11 of this chapter.

(2) The daily commercial catch limits shall be established for each gear type, and may be modified, through a public notice issued in accordance with Regulation .11 of this chapter.

(3) The Department shall issue a public notice that establishes the parameters described in §A(1) and (2) of this regulation for the commercial oyster fishery not later than July 1 of each year.

B. Lawful Methods. A person may catch oysters for commercial purposes only by shaft tong, patent tong, diving apparatus, dredge boat, dredge boat propelled by means of an auxiliary yawl boat, or power dredge.

C. Times for Catching.

(1) During an open season in November and December, a person may catch oysters for commercial purposes only from:

(a) Sunrise until sunset when using shaft tong, patent tong, diving apparatus, dredge boat, or dredge boat propelled by means of an auxiliary yawl boat; and

(b) Sunrise until 3 p.m. when using a power dredge.

(2) Except as described in §C(1) of this regulation, during an open season a person may catch oysters for commercial purposes only from:

(a) Sunrise until 3 p.m. when using shaft tong, patent tong, dredge boat, diving apparatus, or power dredge; and

(b) Sunrise until sunset when using a dredge boat propelled by means of an auxiliary yawl boat.

D. A person may not land or possess oysters on a vessel more than 2 hours after sunset or anytime before sunrise.

E. The Department of Natural Resources Police shall be notified by the licensee when the licensee’s vessel has an emergency which would prevent it from landing during the times specified in §D of this regulation.

F. Oysters may only be sold in accordance with COMAR 08.02.08.02.

G. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, a commercial licensee shall harvest oysters in accordance with the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance that is incorporated by reference by the Maryland Department of Health in COMAR 10.15.07.01A.