08.02.04.04

.04 Oyster Container and Tagging Requirements.

A. Containers.

(1) Oysters harvested from waters of the State shall be stored prior to leaving the bar from which they were harvested in a:

(a) Metal oyster tub that does not exceed the following inside dimensions:

(i) 18 inches top diameter;

(ii) 16-1/2 inches bottom diameter; and

(iii) 12 inches height;

(b) Rectangular shaped container that does not exceed the following inside dimensions:

(i) 12-5/8 inches width across the top;

(ii) 12 inches width across the bottom;

(iii) 20 inches in length; and

(iv) 11-1/4 inches height;

(c) Round container that does not exceed the following inside dimensions:

(i) 16-1/2 inches top diameter;

(ii) 13-1/2 inches bottom diameter; and

(iii) 14-1/4 inches height; or

(d) Container with dimensions approved in writing by the Department which shall have a volume that is comparable to the containers described in §A(1)(a)—(c) of this regulation, and, upon request, the Department's letter approving the container shall be displayed to any Natural Resources Police officer.

(2) A container described in §A(1) of this regulation shall be:

(a) Made of a rigid, open mesh;

(b) Made of smooth, impervious, corrosion-resistant, and non-toxic materials which will not readily disintegrate or crack;

(c) Constructed so that it may be easily cleaned and kept in good repair; and

(d) Constructed to allow either one side or one end to be opened to unload or inspect the oysters.

(3) Oysters stored in accordance with §A(1)(a) and (b) of this regulation may not extend beyond the top of the container.

(4) Oysters stored in accordance with §A of this regulation shall remain in the original container until a tag is no longer required on the container in accordance with §B(4)(d) of this regulation.

(5) Oysters on board a skipjack harvested in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-1013, Annotated Code of Maryland, from:

(a) Only one bar are exempt from §A(1)—(3) of this regulation; or

(b) More than one bar may have oysters from one bar not in containers and all other oysters from different bars shall follow the container requirements of §A(1)—(4) of this regulation.

B. Tagging.

(1) Except as provided in §B(3) of this regulation, an individual storing oysters in accordance with §A(1)—(3) of this regulation shall complete and affix a Department-issued tag to each container of oysters prior to leaving the bar from which the oysters were harvested.

(2) Except as provided in §B(3) of this regulation, an individual storing oysters in accordance with §A(5) of this regulation shall complete one Department-issued tag for the group of oysters not in containers and affix a Department-issued tag to each container of oysters prior to leaving the bar from which the oysters were harvested.

(3) An individual storing oysters in accordance with §A(1)—(3) or (5) of this regulation may use a tag not supplied by the Department if:

(a) The individual:

(i) Is licensed and certified to sell shellfish by the Maryland Department of Health in accordance with COMAR 10.15.04 and 10.15.07; and

(ii) Follows the tagging requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance, incorporated by reference by the Maryland Department of Health in COMAR 10.15.07.01; or

(b) Each tag the individual uses contains the statement “Wild Shellfish”, the state in which the harvest occurred, and, in the order specified, the following information:

(i) The harvester’s license number as assigned by the Department;

(ii) The date of harvest, including the year;

(iii) The bar name;

(iv) The name of the region or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration code for the area in which the harvest occurred;

(v) The type and quantity of shellfish; and

(vi) The statement “THIS TAG IS REQUIRED TO BE ATTACHED UNTIL CONTAINER IS EMPTY OR IS RETAGGED AND THEREAFTER KEPT ON FILE FOR 90 DAYS” in bold capitalized type.

(4) Tags:

(a) Shall be durable and waterproof;

(b) Shall be at least 5-1/2 x 2-3/4 inches in size;

(c) Shall be completed legibly in indelible ink;

(d) Shall stay affixed to the container until the container is in the possession of a person who is licensed and certified to sell shellfish by the Maryland Department of Health in accordance with COMAR 10.15.04 and 10.15.07; and

(e) May not be reused.

(5) In addition to the tagging requirements of this regulation, a person who is licensed and certified to sell shellfish by the Maryland Department of Health in accordance with COMAR 10.15.04 and 10.15.07 shall follow the tagging requirements of the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Model Ordinance, incorporated by reference by the Maryland Department of Health in COMAR 10.15.07.01.

(6) An individual shall only possess one type of tag, wild shellfish or farm-raised shellfish, while harvesting oysters.

(7) An individual may not use a farm-raised shellfish tag to tag wild shellfish.

(8) An individual may not use a wild shellfish tag to tag farm-raised shellfish.

(9) If a tidal fish licensee obtains tags from the Department, the licensee shall be assessed an annual surcharge for the costs incurred by the Department for the tags.

C. Exemptions.

(1) Oysters harvested for recreational purposes and not for sale are exempt from the requirements of §§A and B of this regulation.

(2) Oysters harvested from a lease and stored and tagged in accordance with COMAR 08.02.23 are exempt from the requirements of §§A and B of this regulation.