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RULE §57.252General Provisions

(a) An offshore aquaculture permit under this subchapter may be issued to an individual, corporation, company, or other entity that meets all requirements of Texas law for transacting business in this state and the requirements of this subchapter applicable to offshore aquaculture permits.

(b) A permit under this subchapter other than for an offshore aquaculture facility may be issued to a named individual only and not to a corporation, partnership, or other entity.

(c) A permit issued under this subchapter shall not be sold or transferred except with the approval of the department.

(d) Except as provided by the terms and conditions of the permit, a one-time introduction permit, for releases other than those made into an offshore aquaculture facility, is valid for 60 days from the date of issuance or until the permitted introduction has been completed, whichever comes first.

(e) For offshore aquaculture facilities:

  (1) An offshore aquaculture permit authorizes permitted activities in a designated area within the offshore aquaculture zone.

  (2) The offshore aquaculture permit shall be issued only for the cultivation of native species. Upon request the permittee shall provide the form and type of evidence requested by the department that the individuals are:

    (A) obtained from the Gulf of Mexico; or

    (B) descended solely from individuals obtained from the Gulf of Mexico.

  (3) An offshore aquaculture permit shall be valid from the date of issuance until the date of expiration, but for no longer than 5 years after the issuance date.

  (4) The department may inspect:

    (A) any enclosure or infrastructure used to engage in offshore aquaculture; or

    (B) vessel used to transport stock and equipment to and from an offshore aquaculture facility.

  (5) In the event that a single enclosure suffers a mortality rate of five percent of more within seven days, the permittee shall, within 48 hours of suffering the five percent mortality rate, submit samples to a department-approved aquatic veterinarian to determine whether a disease condition exists.

  (6) The department may order the removal of all stock from an enclosure or take other appropriate action upon:

    (A) a determination that a disease condition exists; or

    (B) an enforcement action by a federal or state agency resulting in the suspension or revocation of a clearance, permit, or authorization that is required under §57.253 of this title (relating to Permit Application).

  (7) The department may sample stock to determine genetic lineage.

(f) A holder of an offshore aquaculture permit must:

  (1) notify the department at least three calendar days prior to the placing of any fish, shellfish, or aquatic plant into public water;

  (2) notify the department at least three calendar days prior to removing any fish, shellfish, or aquatic plant from an offshore aquaculture facility;

  (3) notify the department immediately upon discovering that a disease condition exists within an offshore aquaculture facility;

  (4) notify the department immediately upon determining that an offshore aquaculture facility has been damaged and the threat of the unintentional release of stock exists; and

  (5) remove all enclosures and associated infrastructure from public waters within (60) calendar days of permit expiration or revocation.

(g) A permit is not required for any person, while fishing, to place goldfish (Carassius auratus), common carp (Cyprinus carpio), native shrimp, crabs, crawfish and nongame fish into public waters or to immediately release any fish that does not comply with size and bag limits for that species.

(h) An employee of the department acting at the direction of the executive director is exempt from the permit requirements specified by these sections.

Source Note: The provisions of this §57.252 adopted to be effective April 11, 2007, 32 TexReg 2012; amended to be effective March 23, 2008, 33 TexReg 2547; amended to be effective July 29, 2008, 33 TexReg 5979; amended to be effective August 23, 2009, 34 TexReg 5697; amended to be effective July 9, 2017, 42 TexReg 3387

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