MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

1998 Regular Session

To: Conservation and Water Resources

By: Representative Compretta

House Bill 1377

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT NO LICENSE FOR THE COMMERCIAL TAKING OF SEAFOOD SHALL BE ISSUED TO A NONRESIDENT OR AN OUT-OF-STATE BOAT OR VESSEL, IF THAT NONRESIDENT'S OR OUT-0F-STATE BOAT'S OR VESSEL'S STATE OF DOMICILE PROHIBITS THE ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE TO A RESIDENT OF THIS STATE TO ENGAGE IN LIKE ACTIVITY; TO AMEND SECTIONS 49-15-34, 49-15-46, 49-15-64.4, 49-15-64.5, 49-15-80, AND 49-15-86, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. Section 49-15-34, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

49-15-34. (1) The commission shall require all boats used under regulation of this chapter which are also used in waters of other states and required by those states to pay licenses or fees for the same purposes as licenses and fees are required under this chapter to purchase a license which reflects that the licensed boats are used within and without the territorial waters of Mississippi. Upon the issuance of that license, the licensed boat, if used exclusively for commercial fishing or charter boats which have been licensed and authorized by the United States Coast Guard under 46 CFR Sections 24-26 and 46 CFR Sections 175-187, shall be deemed to be in the business of interstate transportation, but this shall in no way affect the collection of other licenses and fees by the commission which would otherwise be due under this chapter. The commission shall assess and collect an annual license fee of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) on each boat engaged in operations under this subsection.

Beginning September 15, 1998, no nonresident shall be issued a license described in this subsection if that nonresident's state of domicile prohibits the issuance of a license to a resident of this state to engage in like activity.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the commission shall establish a transport permit to land seafood in this state which is legally taken outside of the Mississippi territorial waters without obtaining a license under this chapter. The commission by regulation shall require the registration and inspection of those landings. The commission may establish a permit fee in an amount not to exceed the amount of the license fee established in Section 49-15-28(1). This subsection shall not be construed to supersede Section 49-15-71.

SECTION 2. Section 49-15-46, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

49-15-46. (1) Each in-state vessel used to catch, take, carry or transport oysters from the reefs of the State of Mississippi, or engaged in transporting any oysters in any of the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi, for commercial use, shall annually, before beginning operations, be licensed by the commission and pay the following license fee:

(a) Fifty Dollars ($50.00) on all vessels or boats utilized for tonging oysters; or

(b) One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) on all vessels or boats utilized for dredging oysters.

(2) Each out-of-state vessel used to catch, take, carry or transport oysters from the reefs of the State of Mississippi, or engaged in transporting any oysters in any of the waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi, for commercial use, must annually, before beginning operations, be licensed by the commission and pay the following license fee:

(a) One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) on all vessels or boats utilized for tonging oysters; or

(b) Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) on all vessels or boats utilized for dredging oysters.

Beginning September 15, 1998, no out-of-state vessel shall be issued a license described in this subsection if that out-of-state vessel's state of domicile prohibits the issuance of a license to a Mississippi vessel or resident of this state to engage in like activity.

(3) All oysters harvested in the State of Mississippi shall be tagged. Tags shall be issued by the department and shall bear the catcher's name, the date and origin of the catch, the shell stock dealer's name and permit number. The department shall number all tags issued and shall maintain a record of those tags.

(4) Each person catching or taking oysters from the waters of the State of Mississippi for personal use shall obtain a permit from the commission and pay an annual recreational oyster permit fee of Ten Dollars ($10.00). Oysters caught under a recreational permit shall not be offered for sale. The limits on the allowable catch of oysters for recreational purposes shall be three (3) sacks per week. The department shall issue tags of a distinguishing color to designate recreationally harvested oysters, which shall be tagged on the same day of harvest in the manner prescribed in subsection (3) of this section for commercially harvested oysters.

(5) The commission shall assess and collect a fee of Fifty Cents (504) per sack for the shells taken from waters within the territorial jurisdiction of the State of Mississippi, but processed in other states, in lieu of taking delivery of those shells. Funds received from the shell retention fee shall be paid into a special fund in the State Treasury to be appropriated by the Legislature for use by the commission to further oyster production in this state.

SECTION 3. Section 49-15-64.4, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

49-15-64.4. (1) Each live bait catcher boat engaged in taking live bait shrimp shall pay an annual privilege tax of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each boat engaged in those operations. The operations shall not exceed two (2) boats per license.

(2) Each "live bait dealer" engaging in selling or otherwise dispensing live bait to sport fishermen shall pay an annual privilege tax of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) and must make written application to the commission providing the name of the applicant's "live bait catcher boat," the name of the captain of that "live bait catcher boat," the dealer's Mississippi state sales tax number and a sworn statement that dead shrimp will not be sold in containers having a volume in excess of sixteen (16) ounces. Licensed live bait catcher boats and licensed live bait dealers shall not operate as commercial shrimpers or commercial shrimp dealers or otherwise engage in commercial shrimping operations. Live bait dealers shall only sell or otherwise dispose of bait shrimp when alive or dead with heads attached solely as bait to recreational fishermen or other licensed live bait dealers as regulated by the commission. Only licensed commercial shrimpers may transport shrimp across the state line for the purpose of selling or delivering live bait to another state. Any person, firm or corporation found guilty of purchasing shrimp from a live bait camp or live bait catcher boat, other than for the purpose described in this section, shall be fined Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for the first offense and shall be fined Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) and forfeit all seafood licenses for a second or subsequent offense. In addition, each application for a "live bait dealer" license shall contain a statement of the operating hours, at least eight (8) per twenty-four-hour period, and the location of the camp which must be accessible to the general public by public road and navigable waters. Applications for "live bait dealers" license must be completed and submitted to the commission between the first day of January and the last day of April of each year. Any "live bait dealer" desiring to engage in the catching of live shrimp in one (1) location and then transporting them to the dealer's licensed live bait camp by truck shall first make written application to the commission providing the make and model of the truck, a Mississippi license tag number and shall be responsible for its adherence to all regulations duly adopted by the commission for the transportation of live bait shrimp. Upon receipt of the application, the commission shall verify that the applicant is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and after that verification the commission shall issue a permit authorizing the transportation of live shrimp.

Beginning September 15, 1998, no out-of-state live bait catcher boat and no nonresident live bait dealer shall be issued the licenses described in this section if that boat's or nonresident's state of domicile prohibits the issuance of such licenses to Mississippi boats or residents of this state to engage in like activities.

SECTION 4. Section 49-15-64.5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

49-15-64.5. (1) (a) Each freight boat, ice boat and catching boat used in catching or transporting saltwater shrimp taken from the waters of the State of Mississippi for sale in their fresh state, or for canning, packing, freezing or drying, shall first obtain from the commission an annual privilege license and pay a license fee at the following rates:

(i) Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for resident boats or vessels under thirty (30) feet in length in overall measurements and One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for nonresident boats or vessels under thirty (30) feet in length in overall measurements;

(ii) Seventy-five Dollars ($75.00) for resident boats or vessels between thirty (30) and forty-five (45) feet in length in overall measurements and One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for nonresident boats or vessels between thirty (30) and forty-five (45) feet in length in overall measurements;

(iii) One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for resident boats or vessels greater than forty-five (45) feet in length in overall measurements and Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) for nonresident boats or vessels greater than forty-five (45) feet in length in overall measurements.

(b) Beginning September 15, 1994, no nonresident shall be issued a commercial fishing license under this chapter for the taking of saltwater shrimp using any type of net if that nonresident's state of domicile prohibits the issuing of commercial fishing licenses to residents of this state to engage in like activity.

(2) Each recreational vessel engaging in shrimping with a net having a corkline length of sixteen (16) feet or less shall pay an annual resident license fee of Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) or an annual nonresident license fee of Thirty Dollars ($30.00).

(3) Every freight boat, ice boat and catching boat used in catching or transporting saltwater shrimp taken from the waters of the State of Mississippi for sale in their fresh state, or for canning, packing, freezing, drying or as bait shall register the name of the captain of the vessel at the time that the vessel obtains the annual privilege license provided for in this section. The individual registered as the captain of the vessel may be substituted after notification to and the approval of the deputy director or the deputy director's designated representative. The captain shall purchase a license entitled "captain license." This license shall be purchased at the same time the vessel license is purchased. The fee for a captain license shall be a minimum of Ten Dollars ($10.00).

Beginning September 15, 1998, no boat or vessel shall be issued a license described in this section if that boat's or vessel's state of domicile prohibits the issuance of a license to a Mississippi boat or vessel to engage in like activities.

SECTION 5. Section 49-15-80, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

49-15-80. (1) (a) All vessels to be used in catching or transporting fish in the waters of the State of Mississippi for commercial purposes shall, before beginning operations, obtain an annual license from the commission and pay a license fee according to the following schedule:

(i) Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) on boats used for commercial hook and line fishing. All vessels engaged in commercial hook and line fishing shall be issued a separate annual license by the commission at a fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and crew members shall not be subject to the additional licensing requirements outlined in this section.

(ii) A resident fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) or a nonresident fee of Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00) on boats using trammel nets, gill nets or seines not more than one thousand two hundred (1,200) feet in length.

(b) Beginning September 15, 1994, no nonresident shall be issued a commercial fishing license under any section of this chapter for the taking of fish using any type of net if that nonresident's state of domicile prohibits the issuing of commercial fishing licenses to residents of this state to engage in like activity.

(2) Each factory or manufacturing establishment engaging in the manufacture of oil, fish scrap, fish meal, fertilizer or other products from menhaden, shall pay a license fee of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).

(3) Each boat or vessel engaging in the catching, taking or transporting menhaden in the waters of the State of Mississippi, the sum of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) and shall pay Fifty Dollars ($50.00) on each net, seine, trawl or purse net used in catching or taking menhaden in the waters of the State of Mississippi.

SECTION 6. Section 49-15-86, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

49-15-86. (1) Each person catching or taking any saltwater crabs in the waters of the State of Mississippi for commercial purposes shall obtain a license from the commission and shall pay an annual resident license fee of Seventy-five Dollars ($75.00) or an annual nonresident license fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) on each boat used therefor.

(2) The commission may require a recreational crabber's license for an administrative fee not to exceed Five Dollars ($5.00).

Beginning September 15, 1998, no nonresident shall be issued a license described in this section if that nonresident's state of domicile prohibits the issuance of a license to a resident of this state to engage in like activity.

SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.