(1) The annual total allowable landings of horseshoe crabs for the commercial fishery shall be established and may be modified through a public notice issued in accordance with §G of this regulation.
(2) Any annual overages in the fishery will be deducted from the total fishery allotment for the following year.
B. Seasons. The season for harvesting horseshoe crabs shall be established and may be modified through a public notice issued in accordance with §G of this regulation.
C. Time Restrictions. A person may not catch or land horseshoe crabs on Saturday or Sunday.
D. Catch Limits.
(1) A person that does not possess a valid Maryland horseshoe crab landing permit may not catch, possess, or land more than 25 horseshoe crabs per day.
(2) An individual may not catch or possess female horseshoe crabs.
(3) The catch limit for individuals in possession of a valid horseshoe crab landing permit shall be established and may be modified through a public notice issued in accordance with §G of this regulation.
E. Horseshoe Crab Landing Permit.
(1) No more than ten horseshoe crab landing permits may be issued by the Department. The number of horseshoe crab landing permits is based on the reported catch and landing records of horseshoe crabs in Maryland during 1996.
(2) The Department may issue a permit to catch and land horseshoe crabs in Maryland to a person who is licensed in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-701, Annotated Code of Maryland, and:
(a) Declared or was eligible to declare, in the previous year, an intent to fish for horseshoe crabs in accordance with this section and has not transferred the permit; or
(b) Received a horseshoe crab landing permit through a permanent business transfer in accordance with §E(6) of this regulation.
(a) Between August 1 and April 30, dates inclusive, tidal fish licensees shall declare their intent to fish for horseshoe crabs.
(b) A tidal fish licensee who has not declared by April 30 of the current year, and who has not declared by the April 30 deadline in any of the 3 preceding years, may apply until May 14 of the current year, or the next business day if May 14 occurs on a weekend, to the Director of Fisheries Service, provided the licensee shows good reason why the application should be processed.
(c) An exception to the May 14 deadline will be considered only for an individual who can provide satisfactory documentation of a physical or mental incapacity that prevented that individual from meeting the registration time period established in this subsection.
(4) A permittee shall possess the horseshoe crab landing permit when engaged in permitted activities.
(5) Transfer of a Landing Permit.
(a) The Department may approve the permanent or temporary transfer of a landing permit to a person who applies to the Department requesting the transfer on forms provided by the Department.
(b) At the end of the specified temporary transfer time period the permit automatically returns to the original permittee.
(6) A horseshoe crab landing permit may only be transferred to a person who:
(a) Is licensed in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-701, Annotated Code of Maryland; and
(b) Is not currently a permit holder.
(7) Regardless of the number of authorized individuals with Maryland horseshoe crab permits on board any one vessel, no more than two horseshoe crab quotas may be harvested from one vessel per trip.
F. Reporting and Penalties.
(1) In addition to the requirements of Natural Resources Article, §4-206, Annotated Code of Maryland, an individual in possession of a horseshoe crab landing permit shall record the harvest of horseshoe crabs on the permit daily and submit the completed permit to the Department in the time frame specified on the form.
(2) In addition to any other penalty established in COMAR 08.02.13, failure to comply with this regulation may result in the denial of a subsequent permit.
(3) Prior to suspending a permit under this regulation or denying an application for a permit, the Department shall give the licensee notice of its intended action and an opportunity to appear at a hearing conducted in accordance with the contested case procedures set forth in State Government Article, Title 10, Subtitle 2, Annotated Code of Maryland, and COMAR 08.01.04.
(1) A person authorized to catch and release horseshoe crabs for purposes of scientific research:
(a) Shall return within 48 hours the live horseshoe crabs to the waters from which the horseshoe crabs were taken; and
(b) Is exempt from §§AE of this regulation.
(2) A person who purchases horseshoe crabs for purposes of scientific research may:
(a) Return the horseshoe crabs to the harvester for use or sale as bait;
(b) Return or sell the horseshoe crabs to a bait dealer; or
(c) Return the horseshoe crabs live to tidal waters.
(3) Horseshoe crabs shall be harvested only from a vessel and may not be harvested from land.
(4) The Secretary may establish or modify catch limits, quotas, and seasons for horseshoe crabs in order to implement the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Horseshoe Crab by issuing a public notice on the Fisheries Service website.
(5) The public notice shall state its effective hour and date and shall be published on the Fisheries Service website at least 48 hours in advance of the effective hour and date.
(6) The Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to disseminate a public notice issued under this section through various other media so that an affected individual has a reasonable opportunity to be informed.
(7) A violation of the restrictions set by the Secretary in accordance with §G of this regulation is a violation of this regulation.