State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > South-carolina > Title-50 > Chapter-5

Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft

CHAPTER 5.

MARINE RESOURCES ACT

ARTICLE 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 50-5-10. Citation of chapter.

This chapter may be cited as the "South Carolina Marine Resources Act of 2000".

SECTION 50-5-15. Definitions.

As used in this title pertaining to saltwaters:

(1) "Anadromous" identifies fish which undertake adult migration from brackish or salt waters into freshwaters to spawn, except striped bass or rock fish and hybrid bass, and includes landlocked stocks of those fish.

(2) "Bang stick" means a device containing a charge mounted on a spear, pole, or other contrivance which is activated in order to stun or kill fish or other marine resource.

(3) "Board" means the South Carolina Board of Natural Resources.

(4) "Bottoms" are all of the lands within this State covered at mean high water from the freshwater/saltwater dividing line seaward to the seawardmost limits of the territorial sea.

(5) "Bull rake" means a rake having a basket and a width greater than twelve inches.

(6) "Bushel" means one U.S. bushel.

(7) "Cast net" means nonbaited circular webbing having a weighted peripheral line which is thrown by hand and retrieved by a central line connected to radiating tuck lines attached to the peripheral line.

(8) "Catadromous" identifies fish which undertake adult migration from freshwater into brackish or salt water to spawn.

(9) "Channel net" means any conical-shaped, fixed, or stationary net used for taking shrimp which:

(a) is attached to poles, stakes, anchors, buoys, or other fixed objects; and

(b) has a mesh size of less than two and one-half inches when the mesh is stretched; and is also known as a set net.

(10) "Charter fishing vessel" means a vessel used to transport recreational saltwater fishermen for hire and includes charter, party, and head boats.

(11) "Commercial equipment" means:

(a) any trawl, haul seine, gill net, channel net, bull rake, seed fork, grabs, escalator, or dredge; and

(b) any net, seine, trap, pot, tongs, rake, fork, trotline, or other device or appliance when used for taking or attempting to take fish for a commercial purpose.

(12) "Commercial purpose" means:

(a) being engaged in buying or selling fish;

(b) taking or attempting to take fish in order to derive income or other consideration;

(c) using commercial equipment; and

(d) otherwise being engaged in the fisheries industry with the intent to derive income.

(13) "Conservation of fisheries" means management, regulation, data collection and analysis, permitting, public interactions, enhancement and protection of fisheries stocks and habitat, law enforcement, and research.

(14) "Conviction" or "convicted" means adjudication at trial or civil hearing and includes the entry of a plea of guilty, or nolo contendere, or the forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure a defendant's appearance in court.

(15) "Crustacean" means all forms of crabs, shrimp, crayfish, stone crabs, lobsters, and other motile fish having a chitonized shell excluding snails and horseshoe crabs.

(16) "Culch" means oyster shell or other substrate which is purposely placed for propagation of oysters through the attachment of oyster larvae.

(17) "Cultured live rock" means a type of live rock which has been produced as a result of cultivation under controlled conditions, as in aquaculture operations. Live rock culture specifically entails the deposition of substrate materials for the express purpose of removing the material at a later date for use, sale, or trade as live rock.

(18) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources unless otherwise stated.

(19) "Dredge" means equipment used for harvesting bottom dwelling aquatic life which is not a trawl and is powered by mechanical means, and is designed to contact the bottom when in operation.

(20) "Drop net" means a net mounted to a rigid frame with its diameter or diagonal width being eight feet or less and designed to be fished vertically by hand.

(21) "Elver" means all American eels (Anguilla rostrata) less than or equal to six inches in total length.

(22) "Fish" means finfish, shellfish including mollusks, crustaceans, horseshoe crabs, whelks (conchs), turtles, and terrapin or products thereof.

(23) "Fishing" means all activity and effort involved in taking or attempting to take fish.

(24) "Fishery and fisheries" mean the interactions within and between:

(a) the populations of fish or marine resources being harvested;

(b) the populations of fishermen;

(c) the method, equipment, and effort involved in taking or attempting to take fish;

(d) the processing, transporting, offering for sale, or selling of fish or marine resources; and

(e) the natural resources supporting that interaction.

(25) "Fold up trap" means a pyramid-shaped plastic or wire meshed collapsing trap, with a square base panel and triangular-shaped side panels, that opens outward to occupy a single plane when placed on the water bottom. It is baited in the center of the base panel and encloses crabs when retrieved by means of a cord drawing together the topmost points of the side triangles.

(26) "Gig" means a device used to spear fish by hand; to take fish by hand by use of a prong, spear, or similar device and includes bow and arrow.

(27) "Gill net" means a net which is designed to hang vertically and capture fish by entanglement usually of the head, gill covers, or preopercles, and does not include gill net for taking shad unless specified.

(28) "Haul seine" means a net of twine no smaller than #9 with a stretched mesh size no smaller than two inches and no larger than two and seven-eighths inches, one end of which is anchored to the shore and the other end is moved through the water by a vessel to take fish by encircling the fish and then being mechanically drawn to the shore.

(29) "Herring" means all life stages of the river herrings being blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus).

(30) "Inshore salt waters" means those salt waters of this State between the landward limit of the Atlantic Ocean connected by COLREG demarcation lines, and the freshwater/saltwater dividing line.

(31) "Landed" or "to land" means to take and retain possession while afloat or to take and bring ashore.

(32) "Live rock" means living saltwater organisms or an assemblage of them attached to a hard substrate including dead coral or rock. Living saltwater organisms associated with hard bottoms, banks, reefs, and live rock include, but are not limited to:

(a) sea anemones (Phylum Cnidaria: Class Anthozoa: Order Actinaria);

(b) sponges (Phylum Porifera);

(c) tube worms (Phylum Annelida) including fan worms, feather duster worms, and Christmas tree worms;

(d) bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa);

(e) sea squirts (Phylum Chordata); and

(f) marine algae including mermaid's fan and cups (Udotea spp.), corraline algae, green feather and green grape algae (Caulerpa spp.), and watercress (Halimeda spp.).

(33) "Mariculture" means controlled cultivation in confinement of marine and estuarine organisms in salt waters.

(34) "Marine resource" means any live, fresh, processed, or frozen whole, part, or portion of any marine organism, anadromous fish, or catadromous fish, to include shell deposits occurring upon or within state-owned bottoms and those lying above the mean high water mark if created by processes of natural accretion upon state-owned lands or bottoms.

(35) "Mile" means one nautical mile, being six thousand seventy-six feet.

(36) "Minnow trap" means a trap having no opening which has a dimension greater than one inch only when used for taking small finfish for bait.

(37) "Mollusk" or "molluscan" means a member of the phylum Mollusca.

(38) "Peeler crab" means a hard crab of the blue crab species (Callinectes sapidus) which has a fully formed soft shell beneath the exterior hard shell and exhibits molt signs in the form of red, pink, or white lines just inside the exterior margin of the rear paddle (swimming) legs.

(39) "Peeler trap" means a trap constructed of one inch or smaller hexagonal wire which is:

(a) unbaited; or

(b) baited with only one live male crab and may have one single piece of fish having no dimension greater than three inches.

(40) "Pot" has the same definition as "trap" herein contained.

(41) "Protected species" means a species with which man's interaction is legally controlled, restricted, or prohibited either continually or periodically.

(42) "Public fishing pier" means piers open to the public which charge a fee to fish.

(43) "Recreational fishermen" means persons taking or attempting to take saltwater fish for recreation only, and not for commercial purposes.

(44) "Salt waters" mean all waters of the rivers and their tributaries, streams, and estuaries lying seaward of the dividing line between salt water and freshwater and all impounded waters seaward of the dividing line between salt water and freshwater which are intermittently filled or drained by the action of the tide.

(45) "Saltwater gamefish" means a species of saltwater fish designated as a saltwater gamefish in this title.

(46) "Saltwater privileges" mean the privilege of participating or assisting in the taking or attempting to take or to buy, receive, handle, pack, process, ship, consign, sell, barter, or trade a saltwater fish or marine resource and includes the privilege to hold any license, permit, or stamp authorizing such activity.

(47) "Seed fork" means a fork manufactured having seven or more straight or slightly curved tines or having a tine greater than eight inches in length. All tines must be at least one inch apart unless utilized for mariculture harvest.

(48) "Shad" means American or white shad (Alosa sapidissima) and hickory or skip-jack shad (Alosa mediocris).

(49) "Shellfish" means oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, and all nonmotile molluscan fish having shells.

(50) "Shoreline" means the line of mean high water along that portion of a land mass which is in direct contact with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

(51) "Shrimp seine" means an unanchored net having a stretched mesh of not less than one inch but no greater than one and three-quarters inches, the webbing of which does not exceed forty feet in length or six feet in depth, which is continually moved through the water by human and not mechanical power, and which has no tail bag or cod.

(52) "Shrimp trawl" means a trawl with netting having a stretch mesh size of less than two and one-half inches.

(53) "Sponge crab" means a female blue crab bearing visible eggs.

(54) "State resident" has the same meaning as prescribed in Chapter 9 of this title unless otherwise indicated.

(55) "State waters" extend to the seaward limit of the territorial sea.

(56) "Stretch" as used to describe the measure of mesh of nets means that the material is pulled snugly but not to the point of lengthening the single or multistrand line of the netting. Measurement is made across the widest dimension of the mesh when pulled.

(57) "Striker" means a person, other than a licensed saltwater commercial fisherman, who under immediate supervision assists a licensed commercial saltwater fisherman, but does not use separate commercial equipment on a vessel which is engaged in commercial fishing.

(58) "Take" means to harass intentionally, hunt, capture, gather, harvest, remove, catch, wound, or kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, gather, harvest, remove, catch, wound, or kill.

(59) "Territorial sea" means that portion of the Atlantic Ocean under the jurisdiction of the State of South Carolina.

(60) "Trap" is an enclosed device used for taking fish, constructed to facilitate entry but prohibit or restrict exit of fish and is also called "pot".

(61) "Trawl" means a net, other than a haul seine, towed behind a boat.

(62) "Trawler" means a vessel rigged for towing a trawl.

(63) "Trawling" means fishing with a trawl or having part of a trawl door in the water.

(64) "Trotline" means a single line or wire having numerous hooks or baits and is also called long line.

SECTION 50-5-20. Jurisdiction of Department of Natural Resources.

(A) The department has jurisdiction over all saltwater fish, fishing, fisheries, and marine resources within the salt waters of this State, including the territorial sea.

(B) The department is authorized to conduct research, surveys, and other investigations to manage fish and marine resources; to provide for protection of the salt waters and the marine habitat upon which these resources are dependent; and to provide for the development of saltwater fisheries and mariculture.

(C) Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of this chapter do not apply to fish or fishing in the freshwaters of this State.

(D) The provisions of this chapter apply to all impounded waters seaward of the freshwater/saltwater dividing line which are intermittently filled or drained by the action of the tide.

(E) Impoundments seaward of the freshwater/saltwater dividing line which are naturally occurring or are not influenced by the action of the tide are freshwaters for purposes of jurisdiction of this title.

SECTION 50-5-25. Powers and duties; deposit of revenues.

(A) The department shall enforce all laws for collection of revenues due this State from the saltwater fishing industries and from permitting the use of bottoms and waters.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department is authorized to open and maintain a financial escrow account in which funds received from violations of this chapter and proceeds of the sale of items seized pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited and held pending final adjudication of the case.

(C) All revenues, other than from fines and forfeitures, not otherwise provided for in this title derived from the regulation of saltwater fisheries shall be transmitted to the department for deposit in the department's general operating fund and shall be used by the department in support of the conservation of those fisheries. Revenues and funds so collected but not expended shall be carried forward annually and used for the same purpose. All fines and forfeitures under this chapter shall be transmitted to the department and deposited in the county game and fish fund for the county in which the offense occurred.

(D) Proceeds from sales of experimental mariculture products produced by the department shall be deposited in the state general fund to the credit of the Mariculture Research and Development Fund of the department to further encourage and promote development of the mariculture industry of this State by supporting operational research and development projects of the division and transfer of information to the mariculture industry. Funds deposited in the Mariculture Research and Development Fund shall be carried forward annually and used for the same purpose.

SECTION 50-5-30. Promulgation of regulations; civil offenses; penalties; suspension of permit.

(A) The department may promulgate regulations for the government of the force under its control and for the control of fisheries, not contrary to or inconsistent with the laws and policy of the State, having the force and effect of law.

(B) In promulgating regulations, the department shall consider scientific and other available information regarding:

(1) current condition and trends of the species or stocks involved;

(2) environmental factors, including water quality and climatological data;

(3) biological data, including abundance, size, and distribution of species involved;

(4) economic conditions including market value;

(5) potential impacts upon fishermen and other resource users;

(6) safety of the public and persons utilizing the resource;

(7) effects of added development, population growth, fishing pressure, and demand for the resource; and

(8) other factors pertinent to the management and wise use of fishery resources.

(C) Nothing in this section reduces the authority of the department to act under other provisions of law.

(D) Violation of a regulation is a civil offense. The department may impose a civil penalty of up to two hundred dollars or suspend the license of a person adjudicated in violation, or both.

(E) For violation of a permit condition, in addition to any statutory criminal penalty, the department may impose a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars and suspend or revoke the permit, or both.

(F) The department may suspend or revoke a permit for violation of any conservation law.

SECTION 50-5-32. Closing salt water fishing seasons, areas, or activities in emergency; notice; penalty.

(A) The department has the authority to close any commercial or recreational fishing season, area, or activity in the salt waters of this State when an emergency exists. For the purposes of this section an emergency is an unusual, sudden, and unexpected natural or man-induced situation or occurrence which threatens the future or present well-being of a fishery resource or its habitat in a part of or in all of the salt waters of this State.

(B) The department must use all reasonable means to give notice to the public or an emergency closure issued pursuant to subsection (A) as soon as practicable. An emergency closure notice must specify the cause of the emergency and the fishing season, area, or activity closed, and, if known, the duration of the closure.

(C) When taking emergency action under this section, the department must notify the appropriate standing committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives of its actions as soon as practicable. Supporting resource assessments, scientific documentation, and notice of action taken must be provided to the committees.

(D) During the first three days of an emergency closure instituted under this section, the department must issue only warnings for first offense, noncommercial violations of the closure.

(E) The department must monitor the situation or occurrence under which the emergency arose and must reopen the closed season, area, or activity as soon as, but only when, the threat to the resource or its habitat no longer exists.

(F) It is unlawful to take or attempt to take saltwater fish in violation of an emergency closure. A person violating an emergency closure is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

SECTION 50-5-35. Notice of opening or closing of commercial fishing season; health and environmental protection.

(A) In opening or closing any commercial fishing season pursuant to this chapter, except under the emergency closure authority provided in Section 50-5-32, the department shall give at least twenty-four hours notice of any action and shall use all reasonable means to inform the public.

(B) Except as provided in Section 50-5-955(B), nothing in this chapter alters, reduces, or amends the authority of the Department of Health and Environmental Control to regulate for public health and environmental protection.

SECTION 50-5-40. Unauthorized tagging or marking and releasing of saltwater fish; penalty.

No person may tag or mark and release saltwater fish or promote such activity unless authorized by the department. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

SECTION 50-5-45. Maintenance and publication of nonindigenous organisms list; introduction of organisms prohibited.

(A) The department shall maintain and publish a list of any species, varieties, or strains of nonindigenous organisms known or suspected to present an adverse impact to fish or marine resources of this State. The list shall include the common and scientific name and the actual or potential adverse impact of each organism.

(B) It is unlawful:

(1) to place in the salt waters of this State, or in privately owned waters directly connected to salt waters of this State, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism; or

(2) to sell or offer for sale as bait, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism.

SECTION 50-5-50. Prosecutions for violations of chapter.

The department may prosecute for violations of this chapter for the collection of revenues due this State from the fishing industries and permitting of bottoms and waters and may employ counsel having special knowledge of the fisheries laws, fisheries, and coastal conditions to conduct the prosecutions in the inferior courts and assist the solicitor in the circuit courts and appellate courts.

SECTION 50-5-55. Suspension of privileges; magistrates court jurisdiction; penalties and restitution orders.

(A) Any suspension of privileges under this chapter shall run concurrent with any other suspension then in effect. Except as provided in Section 50-5-2510, suspensions of privileges resulting from violations of this chapter begin thirty calendar days from date of conviction.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the magistrates court has jurisdiction to try any criminal case that arises under this chapter and to impose the penalties set forth herein up to a maximum of five thousand dollars or thirty days' imprisonment. In addition to any penalty imposed under this chapter, the presiding magistrate may order restitution for losses of natural resources.

(C) A person or entity shall have all saltwater privileges and other licenses, permits, and registrations issued by the department suspended until the penalty is paid in full if the person or entity:

(1) fails to pay a penalty arising out of a violation of this chapter within ten business days following adjudication of the matter; or

(2) defaults on a payment plan approved by a presiding magistrate.

SECTION 50-5-60. Conspiracy to violate provision of chapter.

A person who conspires to violate a provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as if he had violated that provision.

SECTION 50-5-65. Seizure and disposition of contraband; separate offense defined.

(A) Any fish or fishery product taken or possessed in violation of any provision of this chapter is contraband and may be seized along with its container and disposed of according to law.

(B) Any perishable item seized, the sale of which is illegal per se, may be donated by the department to a nonprofit entity, in the discretion of the department, or destroyed provided that any perishable item, the sale of which is illegal only because of the place or manner or method in which or by which it was taken must be sold, donated, or destroyed. The proceeds of any perishable item sold must be retained until final adjudication of the case. Any proceeds of the sale must be returned to the defendant in the event of a verdict of not guilty.

(C) Living contraband taken in this State may be returned by the department to the water.

(D) Nonperishable items may be retained by the department for use by the department or disposed of according to law. Nonperishable items which are illegal to use or which have no commercial value must be destroyed.

(E) Neither an item of contraband nor the value of an item of contraband may inure to the benefit of any employee of the department.

(F) Each fish, dozen of crabs, bushel of oysters, one-half bushel of clams, quart of shrimp, or pound of other saltwater fishery product, or fraction or part thereof taken, possessed, purchased, sold, or offered for sale in violation of this chapter is a separate offense.

SECTION 50-5-70. Sale of confiscated device; redemption by owner.

The department shall sell any confiscated device not used or destroyed by the department at public auction for cash to the highest bidder in the county where it was seized, after having given ten days' public notice of the sale. When the device is of greater value than one thousand dollars, the owner may at any time before sale redeem it by paying to the department one thousand dollars. When the device is of lesser value than one thousand dollars, the owner may at any time before the sale redeem it by paying to the department the retail market value.

SECTION 50-5-75. Common areas for taking of fish.

The waters and bottoms of the bays, rivers, creeks, and marshes within this State or within the territorial sea as shown on applicable NOAA Charts, not heretofore conveyed by grant from the General Assembly or royal grant are and remain as a common for the people of this State for the taking of fish, subject to the provisions of this chapter and any future act that may be passed, except that this section is not intended to regulate fish or fishing in the freshwaters of this State.

SECTION 50-5-80. Dividing line between salt and fresh water on rivers.

The dividing line between salt water and freshwater on the rivers listed is defined in this section, and all waters of the rivers and their tributaries, streams, and estuaries lying seaward of the dividing lines are considered salt waters, and all waters lying landward or upstream from all dividing lines are considered freshwaters for purposes of licensing and regulating commercial and recreational fishing. Except as otherwise provided below, the saltwater/freshwater dividing line is U.S. Highway 17:

(1) On Savannah River the dividing line is the abandoned Seaboard Railroad track bed located approximately one and three-fourths miles upstream from the U.S. Highway 17A bridge.

(2) Wright River is salt water for its entire length.

(3) On Ashepoo River the dividing line is the old Seaboard Railroad track bed.

(4) On New River the dividing line is at Cook's Landing.

(5) Wallace River, Rantowles Creek, Long Branch Creek, and Shem Creek are salt water for their entire lengths.

(6) On Edisto River the dividing line is the abandoned Seaboard Railroad track bed near Matthews Canal Cut.

(7) On Ashley River the dividing line is the confluence of Popper Dam Creek directly across from Magnolia Gardens.

(8) On Cooper River the dividing line is the seaward shoreline of Old Back River at the confluence of Old Back River downstream from Bushy Park Reservoir.

(9) Wando River is salt water for its entire length.

(10) On the Intracoastal Waterway in Horry County the dividing line is the bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway at the intersection of S.C. Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 17.

SECTION 50-5-85. General Trawling Zone; subzones.

(A) The General Trawling Zone consists of the following subzones:

(1) The Northern Subzone: from the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary at Little River and its projection to the seawardmost territorial sea limit; to a southern boundary beginning at a point on the southern end of Cedar Island at latitude 033

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > South-carolina > Title-50 > Chapter-5

Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft

CHAPTER 5.

MARINE RESOURCES ACT

ARTICLE 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 50-5-10. Citation of chapter.

This chapter may be cited as the "South Carolina Marine Resources Act of 2000".

SECTION 50-5-15. Definitions.

As used in this title pertaining to saltwaters:

(1) "Anadromous" identifies fish which undertake adult migration from brackish or salt waters into freshwaters to spawn, except striped bass or rock fish and hybrid bass, and includes landlocked stocks of those fish.

(2) "Bang stick" means a device containing a charge mounted on a spear, pole, or other contrivance which is activated in order to stun or kill fish or other marine resource.

(3) "Board" means the South Carolina Board of Natural Resources.

(4) "Bottoms" are all of the lands within this State covered at mean high water from the freshwater/saltwater dividing line seaward to the seawardmost limits of the territorial sea.

(5) "Bull rake" means a rake having a basket and a width greater than twelve inches.

(6) "Bushel" means one U.S. bushel.

(7) "Cast net" means nonbaited circular webbing having a weighted peripheral line which is thrown by hand and retrieved by a central line connected to radiating tuck lines attached to the peripheral line.

(8) "Catadromous" identifies fish which undertake adult migration from freshwater into brackish or salt water to spawn.

(9) "Channel net" means any conical-shaped, fixed, or stationary net used for taking shrimp which:

(a) is attached to poles, stakes, anchors, buoys, or other fixed objects; and

(b) has a mesh size of less than two and one-half inches when the mesh is stretched; and is also known as a set net.

(10) "Charter fishing vessel" means a vessel used to transport recreational saltwater fishermen for hire and includes charter, party, and head boats.

(11) "Commercial equipment" means:

(a) any trawl, haul seine, gill net, channel net, bull rake, seed fork, grabs, escalator, or dredge; and

(b) any net, seine, trap, pot, tongs, rake, fork, trotline, or other device or appliance when used for taking or attempting to take fish for a commercial purpose.

(12) "Commercial purpose" means:

(a) being engaged in buying or selling fish;

(b) taking or attempting to take fish in order to derive income or other consideration;

(c) using commercial equipment; and

(d) otherwise being engaged in the fisheries industry with the intent to derive income.

(13) "Conservation of fisheries" means management, regulation, data collection and analysis, permitting, public interactions, enhancement and protection of fisheries stocks and habitat, law enforcement, and research.

(14) "Conviction" or "convicted" means adjudication at trial or civil hearing and includes the entry of a plea of guilty, or nolo contendere, or the forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure a defendant's appearance in court.

(15) "Crustacean" means all forms of crabs, shrimp, crayfish, stone crabs, lobsters, and other motile fish having a chitonized shell excluding snails and horseshoe crabs.

(16) "Culch" means oyster shell or other substrate which is purposely placed for propagation of oysters through the attachment of oyster larvae.

(17) "Cultured live rock" means a type of live rock which has been produced as a result of cultivation under controlled conditions, as in aquaculture operations. Live rock culture specifically entails the deposition of substrate materials for the express purpose of removing the material at a later date for use, sale, or trade as live rock.

(18) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources unless otherwise stated.

(19) "Dredge" means equipment used for harvesting bottom dwelling aquatic life which is not a trawl and is powered by mechanical means, and is designed to contact the bottom when in operation.

(20) "Drop net" means a net mounted to a rigid frame with its diameter or diagonal width being eight feet or less and designed to be fished vertically by hand.

(21) "Elver" means all American eels (Anguilla rostrata) less than or equal to six inches in total length.

(22) "Fish" means finfish, shellfish including mollusks, crustaceans, horseshoe crabs, whelks (conchs), turtles, and terrapin or products thereof.

(23) "Fishing" means all activity and effort involved in taking or attempting to take fish.

(24) "Fishery and fisheries" mean the interactions within and between:

(a) the populations of fish or marine resources being harvested;

(b) the populations of fishermen;

(c) the method, equipment, and effort involved in taking or attempting to take fish;

(d) the processing, transporting, offering for sale, or selling of fish or marine resources; and

(e) the natural resources supporting that interaction.

(25) "Fold up trap" means a pyramid-shaped plastic or wire meshed collapsing trap, with a square base panel and triangular-shaped side panels, that opens outward to occupy a single plane when placed on the water bottom. It is baited in the center of the base panel and encloses crabs when retrieved by means of a cord drawing together the topmost points of the side triangles.

(26) "Gig" means a device used to spear fish by hand; to take fish by hand by use of a prong, spear, or similar device and includes bow and arrow.

(27) "Gill net" means a net which is designed to hang vertically and capture fish by entanglement usually of the head, gill covers, or preopercles, and does not include gill net for taking shad unless specified.

(28) "Haul seine" means a net of twine no smaller than #9 with a stretched mesh size no smaller than two inches and no larger than two and seven-eighths inches, one end of which is anchored to the shore and the other end is moved through the water by a vessel to take fish by encircling the fish and then being mechanically drawn to the shore.

(29) "Herring" means all life stages of the river herrings being blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus).

(30) "Inshore salt waters" means those salt waters of this State between the landward limit of the Atlantic Ocean connected by COLREG demarcation lines, and the freshwater/saltwater dividing line.

(31) "Landed" or "to land" means to take and retain possession while afloat or to take and bring ashore.

(32) "Live rock" means living saltwater organisms or an assemblage of them attached to a hard substrate including dead coral or rock. Living saltwater organisms associated with hard bottoms, banks, reefs, and live rock include, but are not limited to:

(a) sea anemones (Phylum Cnidaria: Class Anthozoa: Order Actinaria);

(b) sponges (Phylum Porifera);

(c) tube worms (Phylum Annelida) including fan worms, feather duster worms, and Christmas tree worms;

(d) bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa);

(e) sea squirts (Phylum Chordata); and

(f) marine algae including mermaid's fan and cups (Udotea spp.), corraline algae, green feather and green grape algae (Caulerpa spp.), and watercress (Halimeda spp.).

(33) "Mariculture" means controlled cultivation in confinement of marine and estuarine organisms in salt waters.

(34) "Marine resource" means any live, fresh, processed, or frozen whole, part, or portion of any marine organism, anadromous fish, or catadromous fish, to include shell deposits occurring upon or within state-owned bottoms and those lying above the mean high water mark if created by processes of natural accretion upon state-owned lands or bottoms.

(35) "Mile" means one nautical mile, being six thousand seventy-six feet.

(36) "Minnow trap" means a trap having no opening which has a dimension greater than one inch only when used for taking small finfish for bait.

(37) "Mollusk" or "molluscan" means a member of the phylum Mollusca.

(38) "Peeler crab" means a hard crab of the blue crab species (Callinectes sapidus) which has a fully formed soft shell beneath the exterior hard shell and exhibits molt signs in the form of red, pink, or white lines just inside the exterior margin of the rear paddle (swimming) legs.

(39) "Peeler trap" means a trap constructed of one inch or smaller hexagonal wire which is:

(a) unbaited; or

(b) baited with only one live male crab and may have one single piece of fish having no dimension greater than three inches.

(40) "Pot" has the same definition as "trap" herein contained.

(41) "Protected species" means a species with which man's interaction is legally controlled, restricted, or prohibited either continually or periodically.

(42) "Public fishing pier" means piers open to the public which charge a fee to fish.

(43) "Recreational fishermen" means persons taking or attempting to take saltwater fish for recreation only, and not for commercial purposes.

(44) "Salt waters" mean all waters of the rivers and their tributaries, streams, and estuaries lying seaward of the dividing line between salt water and freshwater and all impounded waters seaward of the dividing line between salt water and freshwater which are intermittently filled or drained by the action of the tide.

(45) "Saltwater gamefish" means a species of saltwater fish designated as a saltwater gamefish in this title.

(46) "Saltwater privileges" mean the privilege of participating or assisting in the taking or attempting to take or to buy, receive, handle, pack, process, ship, consign, sell, barter, or trade a saltwater fish or marine resource and includes the privilege to hold any license, permit, or stamp authorizing such activity.

(47) "Seed fork" means a fork manufactured having seven or more straight or slightly curved tines or having a tine greater than eight inches in length. All tines must be at least one inch apart unless utilized for mariculture harvest.

(48) "Shad" means American or white shad (Alosa sapidissima) and hickory or skip-jack shad (Alosa mediocris).

(49) "Shellfish" means oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, and all nonmotile molluscan fish having shells.

(50) "Shoreline" means the line of mean high water along that portion of a land mass which is in direct contact with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

(51) "Shrimp seine" means an unanchored net having a stretched mesh of not less than one inch but no greater than one and three-quarters inches, the webbing of which does not exceed forty feet in length or six feet in depth, which is continually moved through the water by human and not mechanical power, and which has no tail bag or cod.

(52) "Shrimp trawl" means a trawl with netting having a stretch mesh size of less than two and one-half inches.

(53) "Sponge crab" means a female blue crab bearing visible eggs.

(54) "State resident" has the same meaning as prescribed in Chapter 9 of this title unless otherwise indicated.

(55) "State waters" extend to the seaward limit of the territorial sea.

(56) "Stretch" as used to describe the measure of mesh of nets means that the material is pulled snugly but not to the point of lengthening the single or multistrand line of the netting. Measurement is made across the widest dimension of the mesh when pulled.

(57) "Striker" means a person, other than a licensed saltwater commercial fisherman, who under immediate supervision assists a licensed commercial saltwater fisherman, but does not use separate commercial equipment on a vessel which is engaged in commercial fishing.

(58) "Take" means to harass intentionally, hunt, capture, gather, harvest, remove, catch, wound, or kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, gather, harvest, remove, catch, wound, or kill.

(59) "Territorial sea" means that portion of the Atlantic Ocean under the jurisdiction of the State of South Carolina.

(60) "Trap" is an enclosed device used for taking fish, constructed to facilitate entry but prohibit or restrict exit of fish and is also called "pot".

(61) "Trawl" means a net, other than a haul seine, towed behind a boat.

(62) "Trawler" means a vessel rigged for towing a trawl.

(63) "Trawling" means fishing with a trawl or having part of a trawl door in the water.

(64) "Trotline" means a single line or wire having numerous hooks or baits and is also called long line.

SECTION 50-5-20. Jurisdiction of Department of Natural Resources.

(A) The department has jurisdiction over all saltwater fish, fishing, fisheries, and marine resources within the salt waters of this State, including the territorial sea.

(B) The department is authorized to conduct research, surveys, and other investigations to manage fish and marine resources; to provide for protection of the salt waters and the marine habitat upon which these resources are dependent; and to provide for the development of saltwater fisheries and mariculture.

(C) Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of this chapter do not apply to fish or fishing in the freshwaters of this State.

(D) The provisions of this chapter apply to all impounded waters seaward of the freshwater/saltwater dividing line which are intermittently filled or drained by the action of the tide.

(E) Impoundments seaward of the freshwater/saltwater dividing line which are naturally occurring or are not influenced by the action of the tide are freshwaters for purposes of jurisdiction of this title.

SECTION 50-5-25. Powers and duties; deposit of revenues.

(A) The department shall enforce all laws for collection of revenues due this State from the saltwater fishing industries and from permitting the use of bottoms and waters.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department is authorized to open and maintain a financial escrow account in which funds received from violations of this chapter and proceeds of the sale of items seized pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited and held pending final adjudication of the case.

(C) All revenues, other than from fines and forfeitures, not otherwise provided for in this title derived from the regulation of saltwater fisheries shall be transmitted to the department for deposit in the department's general operating fund and shall be used by the department in support of the conservation of those fisheries. Revenues and funds so collected but not expended shall be carried forward annually and used for the same purpose. All fines and forfeitures under this chapter shall be transmitted to the department and deposited in the county game and fish fund for the county in which the offense occurred.

(D) Proceeds from sales of experimental mariculture products produced by the department shall be deposited in the state general fund to the credit of the Mariculture Research and Development Fund of the department to further encourage and promote development of the mariculture industry of this State by supporting operational research and development projects of the division and transfer of information to the mariculture industry. Funds deposited in the Mariculture Research and Development Fund shall be carried forward annually and used for the same purpose.

SECTION 50-5-30. Promulgation of regulations; civil offenses; penalties; suspension of permit.

(A) The department may promulgate regulations for the government of the force under its control and for the control of fisheries, not contrary to or inconsistent with the laws and policy of the State, having the force and effect of law.

(B) In promulgating regulations, the department shall consider scientific and other available information regarding:

(1) current condition and trends of the species or stocks involved;

(2) environmental factors, including water quality and climatological data;

(3) biological data, including abundance, size, and distribution of species involved;

(4) economic conditions including market value;

(5) potential impacts upon fishermen and other resource users;

(6) safety of the public and persons utilizing the resource;

(7) effects of added development, population growth, fishing pressure, and demand for the resource; and

(8) other factors pertinent to the management and wise use of fishery resources.

(C) Nothing in this section reduces the authority of the department to act under other provisions of law.

(D) Violation of a regulation is a civil offense. The department may impose a civil penalty of up to two hundred dollars or suspend the license of a person adjudicated in violation, or both.

(E) For violation of a permit condition, in addition to any statutory criminal penalty, the department may impose a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars and suspend or revoke the permit, or both.

(F) The department may suspend or revoke a permit for violation of any conservation law.

SECTION 50-5-32. Closing salt water fishing seasons, areas, or activities in emergency; notice; penalty.

(A) The department has the authority to close any commercial or recreational fishing season, area, or activity in the salt waters of this State when an emergency exists. For the purposes of this section an emergency is an unusual, sudden, and unexpected natural or man-induced situation or occurrence which threatens the future or present well-being of a fishery resource or its habitat in a part of or in all of the salt waters of this State.

(B) The department must use all reasonable means to give notice to the public or an emergency closure issued pursuant to subsection (A) as soon as practicable. An emergency closure notice must specify the cause of the emergency and the fishing season, area, or activity closed, and, if known, the duration of the closure.

(C) When taking emergency action under this section, the department must notify the appropriate standing committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives of its actions as soon as practicable. Supporting resource assessments, scientific documentation, and notice of action taken must be provided to the committees.

(D) During the first three days of an emergency closure instituted under this section, the department must issue only warnings for first offense, noncommercial violations of the closure.

(E) The department must monitor the situation or occurrence under which the emergency arose and must reopen the closed season, area, or activity as soon as, but only when, the threat to the resource or its habitat no longer exists.

(F) It is unlawful to take or attempt to take saltwater fish in violation of an emergency closure. A person violating an emergency closure is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

SECTION 50-5-35. Notice of opening or closing of commercial fishing season; health and environmental protection.

(A) In opening or closing any commercial fishing season pursuant to this chapter, except under the emergency closure authority provided in Section 50-5-32, the department shall give at least twenty-four hours notice of any action and shall use all reasonable means to inform the public.

(B) Except as provided in Section 50-5-955(B), nothing in this chapter alters, reduces, or amends the authority of the Department of Health and Environmental Control to regulate for public health and environmental protection.

SECTION 50-5-40. Unauthorized tagging or marking and releasing of saltwater fish; penalty.

No person may tag or mark and release saltwater fish or promote such activity unless authorized by the department. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

SECTION 50-5-45. Maintenance and publication of nonindigenous organisms list; introduction of organisms prohibited.

(A) The department shall maintain and publish a list of any species, varieties, or strains of nonindigenous organisms known or suspected to present an adverse impact to fish or marine resources of this State. The list shall include the common and scientific name and the actual or potential adverse impact of each organism.

(B) It is unlawful:

(1) to place in the salt waters of this State, or in privately owned waters directly connected to salt waters of this State, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism; or

(2) to sell or offer for sale as bait, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism.

SECTION 50-5-50. Prosecutions for violations of chapter.

The department may prosecute for violations of this chapter for the collection of revenues due this State from the fishing industries and permitting of bottoms and waters and may employ counsel having special knowledge of the fisheries laws, fisheries, and coastal conditions to conduct the prosecutions in the inferior courts and assist the solicitor in the circuit courts and appellate courts.

SECTION 50-5-55. Suspension of privileges; magistrates court jurisdiction; penalties and restitution orders.

(A) Any suspension of privileges under this chapter shall run concurrent with any other suspension then in effect. Except as provided in Section 50-5-2510, suspensions of privileges resulting from violations of this chapter begin thirty calendar days from date of conviction.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the magistrates court has jurisdiction to try any criminal case that arises under this chapter and to impose the penalties set forth herein up to a maximum of five thousand dollars or thirty days' imprisonment. In addition to any penalty imposed under this chapter, the presiding magistrate may order restitution for losses of natural resources.

(C) A person or entity shall have all saltwater privileges and other licenses, permits, and registrations issued by the department suspended until the penalty is paid in full if the person or entity:

(1) fails to pay a penalty arising out of a violation of this chapter within ten business days following adjudication of the matter; or

(2) defaults on a payment plan approved by a presiding magistrate.

SECTION 50-5-60. Conspiracy to violate provision of chapter.

A person who conspires to violate a provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as if he had violated that provision.

SECTION 50-5-65. Seizure and disposition of contraband; separate offense defined.

(A) Any fish or fishery product taken or possessed in violation of any provision of this chapter is contraband and may be seized along with its container and disposed of according to law.

(B) Any perishable item seized, the sale of which is illegal per se, may be donated by the department to a nonprofit entity, in the discretion of the department, or destroyed provided that any perishable item, the sale of which is illegal only because of the place or manner or method in which or by which it was taken must be sold, donated, or destroyed. The proceeds of any perishable item sold must be retained until final adjudication of the case. Any proceeds of the sale must be returned to the defendant in the event of a verdict of not guilty.

(C) Living contraband taken in this State may be returned by the department to the water.

(D) Nonperishable items may be retained by the department for use by the department or disposed of according to law. Nonperishable items which are illegal to use or which have no commercial value must be destroyed.

(E) Neither an item of contraband nor the value of an item of contraband may inure to the benefit of any employee of the department.

(F) Each fish, dozen of crabs, bushel of oysters, one-half bushel of clams, quart of shrimp, or pound of other saltwater fishery product, or fraction or part thereof taken, possessed, purchased, sold, or offered for sale in violation of this chapter is a separate offense.

SECTION 50-5-70. Sale of confiscated device; redemption by owner.

The department shall sell any confiscated device not used or destroyed by the department at public auction for cash to the highest bidder in the county where it was seized, after having given ten days' public notice of the sale. When the device is of greater value than one thousand dollars, the owner may at any time before sale redeem it by paying to the department one thousand dollars. When the device is of lesser value than one thousand dollars, the owner may at any time before the sale redeem it by paying to the department the retail market value.

SECTION 50-5-75. Common areas for taking of fish.

The waters and bottoms of the bays, rivers, creeks, and marshes within this State or within the territorial sea as shown on applicable NOAA Charts, not heretofore conveyed by grant from the General Assembly or royal grant are and remain as a common for the people of this State for the taking of fish, subject to the provisions of this chapter and any future act that may be passed, except that this section is not intended to regulate fish or fishing in the freshwaters of this State.

SECTION 50-5-80. Dividing line between salt and fresh water on rivers.

The dividing line between salt water and freshwater on the rivers listed is defined in this section, and all waters of the rivers and their tributaries, streams, and estuaries lying seaward of the dividing lines are considered salt waters, and all waters lying landward or upstream from all dividing lines are considered freshwaters for purposes of licensing and regulating commercial and recreational fishing. Except as otherwise provided below, the saltwater/freshwater dividing line is U.S. Highway 17:

(1) On Savannah River the dividing line is the abandoned Seaboard Railroad track bed located approximately one and three-fourths miles upstream from the U.S. Highway 17A bridge.

(2) Wright River is salt water for its entire length.

(3) On Ashepoo River the dividing line is the old Seaboard Railroad track bed.

(4) On New River the dividing line is at Cook's Landing.

(5) Wallace River, Rantowles Creek, Long Branch Creek, and Shem Creek are salt water for their entire lengths.

(6) On Edisto River the dividing line is the abandoned Seaboard Railroad track bed near Matthews Canal Cut.

(7) On Ashley River the dividing line is the confluence of Popper Dam Creek directly across from Magnolia Gardens.

(8) On Cooper River the dividing line is the seaward shoreline of Old Back River at the confluence of Old Back River downstream from Bushy Park Reservoir.

(9) Wando River is salt water for its entire length.

(10) On the Intracoastal Waterway in Horry County the dividing line is the bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway at the intersection of S.C. Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 17.

SECTION 50-5-85. General Trawling Zone; subzones.

(A) The General Trawling Zone consists of the following subzones:

(1) The Northern Subzone: from the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary at Little River and its projection to the seawardmost territorial sea limit; to a southern boundary beginning at a point on the southern end of Cedar Island at latitude 033


State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > South-carolina > Title-50 > Chapter-5

Title 50 - Fish, Game and Watercraft

CHAPTER 5.

MARINE RESOURCES ACT

ARTICLE 1.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

SECTION 50-5-10. Citation of chapter.

This chapter may be cited as the "South Carolina Marine Resources Act of 2000".

SECTION 50-5-15. Definitions.

As used in this title pertaining to saltwaters:

(1) "Anadromous" identifies fish which undertake adult migration from brackish or salt waters into freshwaters to spawn, except striped bass or rock fish and hybrid bass, and includes landlocked stocks of those fish.

(2) "Bang stick" means a device containing a charge mounted on a spear, pole, or other contrivance which is activated in order to stun or kill fish or other marine resource.

(3) "Board" means the South Carolina Board of Natural Resources.

(4) "Bottoms" are all of the lands within this State covered at mean high water from the freshwater/saltwater dividing line seaward to the seawardmost limits of the territorial sea.

(5) "Bull rake" means a rake having a basket and a width greater than twelve inches.

(6) "Bushel" means one U.S. bushel.

(7) "Cast net" means nonbaited circular webbing having a weighted peripheral line which is thrown by hand and retrieved by a central line connected to radiating tuck lines attached to the peripheral line.

(8) "Catadromous" identifies fish which undertake adult migration from freshwater into brackish or salt water to spawn.

(9) "Channel net" means any conical-shaped, fixed, or stationary net used for taking shrimp which:

(a) is attached to poles, stakes, anchors, buoys, or other fixed objects; and

(b) has a mesh size of less than two and one-half inches when the mesh is stretched; and is also known as a set net.

(10) "Charter fishing vessel" means a vessel used to transport recreational saltwater fishermen for hire and includes charter, party, and head boats.

(11) "Commercial equipment" means:

(a) any trawl, haul seine, gill net, channel net, bull rake, seed fork, grabs, escalator, or dredge; and

(b) any net, seine, trap, pot, tongs, rake, fork, trotline, or other device or appliance when used for taking or attempting to take fish for a commercial purpose.

(12) "Commercial purpose" means:

(a) being engaged in buying or selling fish;

(b) taking or attempting to take fish in order to derive income or other consideration;

(c) using commercial equipment; and

(d) otherwise being engaged in the fisheries industry with the intent to derive income.

(13) "Conservation of fisheries" means management, regulation, data collection and analysis, permitting, public interactions, enhancement and protection of fisheries stocks and habitat, law enforcement, and research.

(14) "Conviction" or "convicted" means adjudication at trial or civil hearing and includes the entry of a plea of guilty, or nolo contendere, or the forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure a defendant's appearance in court.

(15) "Crustacean" means all forms of crabs, shrimp, crayfish, stone crabs, lobsters, and other motile fish having a chitonized shell excluding snails and horseshoe crabs.

(16) "Culch" means oyster shell or other substrate which is purposely placed for propagation of oysters through the attachment of oyster larvae.

(17) "Cultured live rock" means a type of live rock which has been produced as a result of cultivation under controlled conditions, as in aquaculture operations. Live rock culture specifically entails the deposition of substrate materials for the express purpose of removing the material at a later date for use, sale, or trade as live rock.

(18) "Department" means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources unless otherwise stated.

(19) "Dredge" means equipment used for harvesting bottom dwelling aquatic life which is not a trawl and is powered by mechanical means, and is designed to contact the bottom when in operation.

(20) "Drop net" means a net mounted to a rigid frame with its diameter or diagonal width being eight feet or less and designed to be fished vertically by hand.

(21) "Elver" means all American eels (Anguilla rostrata) less than or equal to six inches in total length.

(22) "Fish" means finfish, shellfish including mollusks, crustaceans, horseshoe crabs, whelks (conchs), turtles, and terrapin or products thereof.

(23) "Fishing" means all activity and effort involved in taking or attempting to take fish.

(24) "Fishery and fisheries" mean the interactions within and between:

(a) the populations of fish or marine resources being harvested;

(b) the populations of fishermen;

(c) the method, equipment, and effort involved in taking or attempting to take fish;

(d) the processing, transporting, offering for sale, or selling of fish or marine resources; and

(e) the natural resources supporting that interaction.

(25) "Fold up trap" means a pyramid-shaped plastic or wire meshed collapsing trap, with a square base panel and triangular-shaped side panels, that opens outward to occupy a single plane when placed on the water bottom. It is baited in the center of the base panel and encloses crabs when retrieved by means of a cord drawing together the topmost points of the side triangles.

(26) "Gig" means a device used to spear fish by hand; to take fish by hand by use of a prong, spear, or similar device and includes bow and arrow.

(27) "Gill net" means a net which is designed to hang vertically and capture fish by entanglement usually of the head, gill covers, or preopercles, and does not include gill net for taking shad unless specified.

(28) "Haul seine" means a net of twine no smaller than #9 with a stretched mesh size no smaller than two inches and no larger than two and seven-eighths inches, one end of which is anchored to the shore and the other end is moved through the water by a vessel to take fish by encircling the fish and then being mechanically drawn to the shore.

(29) "Herring" means all life stages of the river herrings being blueback herring (Alosa aestivalis) and alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus).

(30) "Inshore salt waters" means those salt waters of this State between the landward limit of the Atlantic Ocean connected by COLREG demarcation lines, and the freshwater/saltwater dividing line.

(31) "Landed" or "to land" means to take and retain possession while afloat or to take and bring ashore.

(32) "Live rock" means living saltwater organisms or an assemblage of them attached to a hard substrate including dead coral or rock. Living saltwater organisms associated with hard bottoms, banks, reefs, and live rock include, but are not limited to:

(a) sea anemones (Phylum Cnidaria: Class Anthozoa: Order Actinaria);

(b) sponges (Phylum Porifera);

(c) tube worms (Phylum Annelida) including fan worms, feather duster worms, and Christmas tree worms;

(d) bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa);

(e) sea squirts (Phylum Chordata); and

(f) marine algae including mermaid's fan and cups (Udotea spp.), corraline algae, green feather and green grape algae (Caulerpa spp.), and watercress (Halimeda spp.).

(33) "Mariculture" means controlled cultivation in confinement of marine and estuarine organisms in salt waters.

(34) "Marine resource" means any live, fresh, processed, or frozen whole, part, or portion of any marine organism, anadromous fish, or catadromous fish, to include shell deposits occurring upon or within state-owned bottoms and those lying above the mean high water mark if created by processes of natural accretion upon state-owned lands or bottoms.

(35) "Mile" means one nautical mile, being six thousand seventy-six feet.

(36) "Minnow trap" means a trap having no opening which has a dimension greater than one inch only when used for taking small finfish for bait.

(37) "Mollusk" or "molluscan" means a member of the phylum Mollusca.

(38) "Peeler crab" means a hard crab of the blue crab species (Callinectes sapidus) which has a fully formed soft shell beneath the exterior hard shell and exhibits molt signs in the form of red, pink, or white lines just inside the exterior margin of the rear paddle (swimming) legs.

(39) "Peeler trap" means a trap constructed of one inch or smaller hexagonal wire which is:

(a) unbaited; or

(b) baited with only one live male crab and may have one single piece of fish having no dimension greater than three inches.

(40) "Pot" has the same definition as "trap" herein contained.

(41) "Protected species" means a species with which man's interaction is legally controlled, restricted, or prohibited either continually or periodically.

(42) "Public fishing pier" means piers open to the public which charge a fee to fish.

(43) "Recreational fishermen" means persons taking or attempting to take saltwater fish for recreation only, and not for commercial purposes.

(44) "Salt waters" mean all waters of the rivers and their tributaries, streams, and estuaries lying seaward of the dividing line between salt water and freshwater and all impounded waters seaward of the dividing line between salt water and freshwater which are intermittently filled or drained by the action of the tide.

(45) "Saltwater gamefish" means a species of saltwater fish designated as a saltwater gamefish in this title.

(46) "Saltwater privileges" mean the privilege of participating or assisting in the taking or attempting to take or to buy, receive, handle, pack, process, ship, consign, sell, barter, or trade a saltwater fish or marine resource and includes the privilege to hold any license, permit, or stamp authorizing such activity.

(47) "Seed fork" means a fork manufactured having seven or more straight or slightly curved tines or having a tine greater than eight inches in length. All tines must be at least one inch apart unless utilized for mariculture harvest.

(48) "Shad" means American or white shad (Alosa sapidissima) and hickory or skip-jack shad (Alosa mediocris).

(49) "Shellfish" means oysters, clams, mussels, scallops, and all nonmotile molluscan fish having shells.

(50) "Shoreline" means the line of mean high water along that portion of a land mass which is in direct contact with the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

(51) "Shrimp seine" means an unanchored net having a stretched mesh of not less than one inch but no greater than one and three-quarters inches, the webbing of which does not exceed forty feet in length or six feet in depth, which is continually moved through the water by human and not mechanical power, and which has no tail bag or cod.

(52) "Shrimp trawl" means a trawl with netting having a stretch mesh size of less than two and one-half inches.

(53) "Sponge crab" means a female blue crab bearing visible eggs.

(54) "State resident" has the same meaning as prescribed in Chapter 9 of this title unless otherwise indicated.

(55) "State waters" extend to the seaward limit of the territorial sea.

(56) "Stretch" as used to describe the measure of mesh of nets means that the material is pulled snugly but not to the point of lengthening the single or multistrand line of the netting. Measurement is made across the widest dimension of the mesh when pulled.

(57) "Striker" means a person, other than a licensed saltwater commercial fisherman, who under immediate supervision assists a licensed commercial saltwater fisherman, but does not use separate commercial equipment on a vessel which is engaged in commercial fishing.

(58) "Take" means to harass intentionally, hunt, capture, gather, harvest, remove, catch, wound, or kill or attempt to harass, hunt, capture, gather, harvest, remove, catch, wound, or kill.

(59) "Territorial sea" means that portion of the Atlantic Ocean under the jurisdiction of the State of South Carolina.

(60) "Trap" is an enclosed device used for taking fish, constructed to facilitate entry but prohibit or restrict exit of fish and is also called "pot".

(61) "Trawl" means a net, other than a haul seine, towed behind a boat.

(62) "Trawler" means a vessel rigged for towing a trawl.

(63) "Trawling" means fishing with a trawl or having part of a trawl door in the water.

(64) "Trotline" means a single line or wire having numerous hooks or baits and is also called long line.

SECTION 50-5-20. Jurisdiction of Department of Natural Resources.

(A) The department has jurisdiction over all saltwater fish, fishing, fisheries, and marine resources within the salt waters of this State, including the territorial sea.

(B) The department is authorized to conduct research, surveys, and other investigations to manage fish and marine resources; to provide for protection of the salt waters and the marine habitat upon which these resources are dependent; and to provide for the development of saltwater fisheries and mariculture.

(C) Except as otherwise provided, the provisions of this chapter do not apply to fish or fishing in the freshwaters of this State.

(D) The provisions of this chapter apply to all impounded waters seaward of the freshwater/saltwater dividing line which are intermittently filled or drained by the action of the tide.

(E) Impoundments seaward of the freshwater/saltwater dividing line which are naturally occurring or are not influenced by the action of the tide are freshwaters for purposes of jurisdiction of this title.

SECTION 50-5-25. Powers and duties; deposit of revenues.

(A) The department shall enforce all laws for collection of revenues due this State from the saltwater fishing industries and from permitting the use of bottoms and waters.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department is authorized to open and maintain a financial escrow account in which funds received from violations of this chapter and proceeds of the sale of items seized pursuant to this chapter shall be deposited and held pending final adjudication of the case.

(C) All revenues, other than from fines and forfeitures, not otherwise provided for in this title derived from the regulation of saltwater fisheries shall be transmitted to the department for deposit in the department's general operating fund and shall be used by the department in support of the conservation of those fisheries. Revenues and funds so collected but not expended shall be carried forward annually and used for the same purpose. All fines and forfeitures under this chapter shall be transmitted to the department and deposited in the county game and fish fund for the county in which the offense occurred.

(D) Proceeds from sales of experimental mariculture products produced by the department shall be deposited in the state general fund to the credit of the Mariculture Research and Development Fund of the department to further encourage and promote development of the mariculture industry of this State by supporting operational research and development projects of the division and transfer of information to the mariculture industry. Funds deposited in the Mariculture Research and Development Fund shall be carried forward annually and used for the same purpose.

SECTION 50-5-30. Promulgation of regulations; civil offenses; penalties; suspension of permit.

(A) The department may promulgate regulations for the government of the force under its control and for the control of fisheries, not contrary to or inconsistent with the laws and policy of the State, having the force and effect of law.

(B) In promulgating regulations, the department shall consider scientific and other available information regarding:

(1) current condition and trends of the species or stocks involved;

(2) environmental factors, including water quality and climatological data;

(3) biological data, including abundance, size, and distribution of species involved;

(4) economic conditions including market value;

(5) potential impacts upon fishermen and other resource users;

(6) safety of the public and persons utilizing the resource;

(7) effects of added development, population growth, fishing pressure, and demand for the resource; and

(8) other factors pertinent to the management and wise use of fishery resources.

(C) Nothing in this section reduces the authority of the department to act under other provisions of law.

(D) Violation of a regulation is a civil offense. The department may impose a civil penalty of up to two hundred dollars or suspend the license of a person adjudicated in violation, or both.

(E) For violation of a permit condition, in addition to any statutory criminal penalty, the department may impose a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars and suspend or revoke the permit, or both.

(F) The department may suspend or revoke a permit for violation of any conservation law.

SECTION 50-5-32. Closing salt water fishing seasons, areas, or activities in emergency; notice; penalty.

(A) The department has the authority to close any commercial or recreational fishing season, area, or activity in the salt waters of this State when an emergency exists. For the purposes of this section an emergency is an unusual, sudden, and unexpected natural or man-induced situation or occurrence which threatens the future or present well-being of a fishery resource or its habitat in a part of or in all of the salt waters of this State.

(B) The department must use all reasonable means to give notice to the public or an emergency closure issued pursuant to subsection (A) as soon as practicable. An emergency closure notice must specify the cause of the emergency and the fishing season, area, or activity closed, and, if known, the duration of the closure.

(C) When taking emergency action under this section, the department must notify the appropriate standing committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives of its actions as soon as practicable. Supporting resource assessments, scientific documentation, and notice of action taken must be provided to the committees.

(D) During the first three days of an emergency closure instituted under this section, the department must issue only warnings for first offense, noncommercial violations of the closure.

(E) The department must monitor the situation or occurrence under which the emergency arose and must reopen the closed season, area, or activity as soon as, but only when, the threat to the resource or its habitat no longer exists.

(F) It is unlawful to take or attempt to take saltwater fish in violation of an emergency closure. A person violating an emergency closure is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

SECTION 50-5-35. Notice of opening or closing of commercial fishing season; health and environmental protection.

(A) In opening or closing any commercial fishing season pursuant to this chapter, except under the emergency closure authority provided in Section 50-5-32, the department shall give at least twenty-four hours notice of any action and shall use all reasonable means to inform the public.

(B) Except as provided in Section 50-5-955(B), nothing in this chapter alters, reduces, or amends the authority of the Department of Health and Environmental Control to regulate for public health and environmental protection.

SECTION 50-5-40. Unauthorized tagging or marking and releasing of saltwater fish; penalty.

No person may tag or mark and release saltwater fish or promote such activity unless authorized by the department. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

SECTION 50-5-45. Maintenance and publication of nonindigenous organisms list; introduction of organisms prohibited.

(A) The department shall maintain and publish a list of any species, varieties, or strains of nonindigenous organisms known or suspected to present an adverse impact to fish or marine resources of this State. The list shall include the common and scientific name and the actual or potential adverse impact of each organism.

(B) It is unlawful:

(1) to place in the salt waters of this State, or in privately owned waters directly connected to salt waters of this State, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism; or

(2) to sell or offer for sale as bait, any live, fresh, or frozen whole, part, or product of any listed organism.

SECTION 50-5-50. Prosecutions for violations of chapter.

The department may prosecute for violations of this chapter for the collection of revenues due this State from the fishing industries and permitting of bottoms and waters and may employ counsel having special knowledge of the fisheries laws, fisheries, and coastal conditions to conduct the prosecutions in the inferior courts and assist the solicitor in the circuit courts and appellate courts.

SECTION 50-5-55. Suspension of privileges; magistrates court jurisdiction; penalties and restitution orders.

(A) Any suspension of privileges under this chapter shall run concurrent with any other suspension then in effect. Except as provided in Section 50-5-2510, suspensions of privileges resulting from violations of this chapter begin thirty calendar days from date of conviction.

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, the magistrates court has jurisdiction to try any criminal case that arises under this chapter and to impose the penalties set forth herein up to a maximum of five thousand dollars or thirty days' imprisonment. In addition to any penalty imposed under this chapter, the presiding magistrate may order restitution for losses of natural resources.

(C) A person or entity shall have all saltwater privileges and other licenses, permits, and registrations issued by the department suspended until the penalty is paid in full if the person or entity:

(1) fails to pay a penalty arising out of a violation of this chapter within ten business days following adjudication of the matter; or

(2) defaults on a payment plan approved by a presiding magistrate.

SECTION 50-5-60. Conspiracy to violate provision of chapter.

A person who conspires to violate a provision of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as if he had violated that provision.

SECTION 50-5-65. Seizure and disposition of contraband; separate offense defined.

(A) Any fish or fishery product taken or possessed in violation of any provision of this chapter is contraband and may be seized along with its container and disposed of according to law.

(B) Any perishable item seized, the sale of which is illegal per se, may be donated by the department to a nonprofit entity, in the discretion of the department, or destroyed provided that any perishable item, the sale of which is illegal only because of the place or manner or method in which or by which it was taken must be sold, donated, or destroyed. The proceeds of any perishable item sold must be retained until final adjudication of the case. Any proceeds of the sale must be returned to the defendant in the event of a verdict of not guilty.

(C) Living contraband taken in this State may be returned by the department to the water.

(D) Nonperishable items may be retained by the department for use by the department or disposed of according to law. Nonperishable items which are illegal to use or which have no commercial value must be destroyed.

(E) Neither an item of contraband nor the value of an item of contraband may inure to the benefit of any employee of the department.

(F) Each fish, dozen of crabs, bushel of oysters, one-half bushel of clams, quart of shrimp, or pound of other saltwater fishery product, or fraction or part thereof taken, possessed, purchased, sold, or offered for sale in violation of this chapter is a separate offense.

SECTION 50-5-70. Sale of confiscated device; redemption by owner.

The department shall sell any confiscated device not used or destroyed by the department at public auction for cash to the highest bidder in the county where it was seized, after having given ten days' public notice of the sale. When the device is of greater value than one thousand dollars, the owner may at any time before sale redeem it by paying to the department one thousand dollars. When the device is of lesser value than one thousand dollars, the owner may at any time before the sale redeem it by paying to the department the retail market value.

SECTION 50-5-75. Common areas for taking of fish.

The waters and bottoms of the bays, rivers, creeks, and marshes within this State or within the territorial sea as shown on applicable NOAA Charts, not heretofore conveyed by grant from the General Assembly or royal grant are and remain as a common for the people of this State for the taking of fish, subject to the provisions of this chapter and any future act that may be passed, except that this section is not intended to regulate fish or fishing in the freshwaters of this State.

SECTION 50-5-80. Dividing line between salt and fresh water on rivers.

The dividing line between salt water and freshwater on the rivers listed is defined in this section, and all waters of the rivers and their tributaries, streams, and estuaries lying seaward of the dividing lines are considered salt waters, and all waters lying landward or upstream from all dividing lines are considered freshwaters for purposes of licensing and regulating commercial and recreational fishing. Except as otherwise provided below, the saltwater/freshwater dividing line is U.S. Highway 17:

(1) On Savannah River the dividing line is the abandoned Seaboard Railroad track bed located approximately one and three-fourths miles upstream from the U.S. Highway 17A bridge.

(2) Wright River is salt water for its entire length.

(3) On Ashepoo River the dividing line is the old Seaboard Railroad track bed.

(4) On New River the dividing line is at Cook's Landing.

(5) Wallace River, Rantowles Creek, Long Branch Creek, and Shem Creek are salt water for their entire lengths.

(6) On Edisto River the dividing line is the abandoned Seaboard Railroad track bed near Matthews Canal Cut.

(7) On Ashley River the dividing line is the confluence of Popper Dam Creek directly across from Magnolia Gardens.

(8) On Cooper River the dividing line is the seaward shoreline of Old Back River at the confluence of Old Back River downstream from Bushy Park Reservoir.

(9) Wando River is salt water for its entire length.

(10) On the Intracoastal Waterway in Horry County the dividing line is the bridge across the Intracoastal Waterway at the intersection of S.C. Highway 9 and U.S. Highway 17.

SECTION 50-5-85. General Trawling Zone; subzones.

(A) The General Trawling Zone consists of the following subzones:

(1) The Northern Subzone: from the North Carolina-South Carolina boundary at Little River and its projection to the seawardmost territorial sea limit; to a southern boundary beginning at a point on the southern end of Cedar Island at latitude 033

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