SEC. 49-15-39. Dredging limits; reefs reserved for tonging.
(1) It is unlawful for any person to catch or take oysters by means of dredging in any of the waters designated as tonging reefs by the commission.
(2) The commission shall designate certain areas as tonging reefs. The commission shall mark the boundaries of the areas designated by appropriate poles, stakes or buoys of material that will not injure watercraft. The commission may authorize the taking of oysters on reefs designated as tonging reefs by dredge, drag or scoop if the commission finds that the dredging, dragging or scooping is necessary to manage the resource properly. Any dredging, dragging or scooping authorized under this section shall be for a specific time period as provided by the commission.
(3) Unless otherwise authorized under this section, any boat or vessel which catches or takes oysters by means of dredges, drags or scoops, other than hand tongs, from any of the areas described in this section, or with a dredge or dredges in the water, shall have all oysters on board the boat or vessel * * * declared to be contraband. The oysters shall be taken and confiscated by the department or any marine law enforcement officer without court procedure. The captain and crew of the boat or vessel, promptly upon being ordered so to do, shall transport the oysters to a point on the public reefs of the state where the boat or vessel is found and there scatter the oysters according to the instructions of the enforcement officers. Any person who violates this section shall be punished as provided in Section 49-15-63.
SOURCES: Codes, Hemingway's 1917, Sec. 6162; 1930, Sec. 6880; 1942, Sec. 6075-12; Laws, 1913, ch. 4; 1926, ch. 295; 1944, ch. 287, Sec. 3; 1950, ch. 553; 1958, ch. 195, Sec. 52; 1977, ch. 463, Sec. 4, eff from and after passage (approved April 13, 1977). 1997 Laws, Chapter 399, Sec. 2, SB2777, Effective March 18, 1997. Amended by Laws 2000, Ch. 524, Sec. 1, HB1266, eff. July 1, 2000.
PREVIOUS VERSIONS: Pre-2000