State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Mississippi > Title-49 > 15 > 49-15-40

§ 49-15-40. Projects to create or establish new oyster beds; molluscan depuration facilities; lease of water bottoms to political subdivisions.

(1)  The commission may support projects in the nature of digging or constructing canals or ditches to bring additional water to existing oyster reefs or beds in need of that water, or for the purpose of creating or establishing new oyster reefs or beds. All reefs created or established under this section shall be public reefs. The commission may expend any monies as it deems necessary and expedient to participate in the digging of those canals. The commission may also enter into interstate or intrastate efforts to support these projects and may seek and utilize aid from all federal, state and local sources in this endeavor. To aid in the construction of any canals or ditches, the commission may exercise the right of eminent domain in the manner provided by law. 

(2)  The commission may construct, operate and maintain an onshore, molluscan depuration facility using any federal or special funds, other than general funds, for the purpose of testing and proving depuration technology of oysters and other molluscan shellfish. In connection with the construction, operation and maintenance of the facility, the commission may contract with any persons it deems necessary for the operation, testing, maintenance and evaluation of the facility, subject to the approval of the State Personnel Board. The commission may locate the facility on any available public properties, subject to the approval of the governing body of that jurisdiction and all other applicable state laws. Once depuration technology has been tested and proven for oysters, the commission may conduct any other tests and experiments with oysters or other shellfish as may be necessary to enhance production or quality of shellfish. 

(3)  The commission may lease to political subdivisions of the State of Mississippi up to one thousand (1,000) acres of water bottoms for development of oyster reefs and those political subdivisions may permit residents of the State of Mississippi to harvest oysters from the reefs. The political subdivision may charge and receive a fee for each sack of oysters harvested. The commission shall consider and approve the application of a political subdivision after determining that (a) no conflicts exist with sites requested in applications filed before the application of the political subdivision; (b) a fair and reasonable rental payment has been set; and (c) the lease will insure the maximum culture and propagation of oysters. 

Sources: Laws,  1997, ch. 579, § 6, eff from and after July 2, 1997.