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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation SS-02-2020

Marine Fisheries

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SS-2-2020

PROCLAMATION

RE: TEMPERATURE AND SANITATION CONTROLS – CLOSED SEASON OYSTER HARVEST


This proclamation supersedes SS-2-2019 dated March 20, 2019. It reestablishes National Shellfish Sanitation Program requirements that mandate measures to control the temperature of oysters after harvest, as well as other sanitation requirements for shellfish harvesters and certified shellfish dealers.

It establishes National Shellfish Sanitation Program requirements that mandate measures to minimize the risk of Vibrio illness due to certain pre-harvest handling practices such as air-drying and defouling of oysters. It also establishes tagging requirements for pre-harvest activities conducted off-site of shellfish leases and franchises, shading oysters after harvest and clarifies the definition of the time of harvest related to intertidal aquaculture.


Stephen W. Murphey, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective immediately the following restrictions will apply to the harvest, transport, and storage of oysters taken from shellfish leases or franchises in Coastal Fishing Waters:

I. Time Period

The following restrictions are in effect for all commercial fishing operations involving oysters and certified shellfish dealers, as applicable, for the time period of April 1 through October 14.

II. NOTIFICATION AND TAGGING REQUIREMENTS

A. It is unlawful for shellfish lease or franchise holders to fail to notify the N.C. Marine Fisheries, Habitat and Enhancement Section by telephone at 800-682-2632 extension 8048 or 252-808-8048 prior to beginning oyster harvest from shellfish leases or franchises during the April 1 through October 14 time period. Only one call for the entire April 1 through October 14 time period is required.

B. Harvest Tags - It is unlawful to possess oysters to be harvested in a commercial fishing operation without a harvest tag recording the time of the start of harvest, shellfish lease or franchise number and the information as described in 15A NCAC 03K .0109, affixed to each container of oysters. The time of the start of harvest shall be the time when the first oyster is initially removed from the water or, in the case of intertidal harvest, the time of first exposure by the receding tide.

C. Off-site Tags - It is unlawful to possess oysters greater than 25mm in length off-site of a shellfish lease or franchise for the purposes of transporting, sorting, grading or cleaning without an off-site tag recording the following information:
1. Shellfish lease or franchise number;
2. Date;
3. Shellfish Growing Area;
4. The time the first oyster was removed from the water, or in the case of intertidal gear, the time of first exposure by the receding tide; and

5. Number of containers (if bulk off-site tag)

The use of a single bulk off-site tag identifying multiple containers of oysters to be transported, sorted, graded or cleaned is acceptable if it identifies the number of containers. Off-site tags shall be durable, water resistant, and a minimum of two and five-eighths inches by five and one-fourth inches in size. If any oysters are to be harvested after sorting, grading or cleaning activities, a harvest tag is then required to be attached to each container in accordance with Section II (B) above, with the original time of harvest recorded.

An example off-site tag template is available at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/ssrwq-educational-materials or can be picked up at DMF Headquarters.
D. Dealer Tags - The following text additional to requirements in 15A NCAC 18A .0425 (a) (7) shall be printed in bold capitalized type on shellfish dealer tags along with other required information as described in 15A NCAC 18A .0425:

THIS TAG IS REQUIRED TO BE ATTACHED UNTIL CONTAINER IS EMPTY OR IS RETAGGED AND THEREAFTER KEPT ON FILE, IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER, FOR 90 DAYS." “RETAILERS: DATE WHEN LAST SHELLFISH FROM THIS CONTAINER SOLD OR SERVED (INSERT DATE)____________.”

E. Dealer tags shall also contain the statement “Keep Refrigerated”.
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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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