(a)  Fish, as used throughout this Rule, is defined in G.S. 113-129(7).

(b)  Replacement Costs Distinguished.  As it applies to fishes the term "replacement costs" must be distinguished from the "value" of the fish concerned.  Except in cases where fish may lawfully be sold on the open market, as with commercially reared species, the monetary value of the specimens cannot be determined easily.  The degree of special interest or concern in a particular species by the public, including not only anglers, but conservationists and those to whom the value of fishes is primarily aesthetic, cannot be measured in dollar amounts.  The average cost of fish legally taken by anglers including travel and lodging, fishing equipment and bait, excise taxes on equipment, licenses and other fees, may fairly be estimated.  This too, however, is a reflection on the value of existing fishery resources rather than a measure of the cost of their replacement.  Thus, the relative value of fish species shall be considered only as they may bear on the necessity or desirability of actual replacement.

(c)  Determining replacement costs.  The replacement costs of species of fishes that have been taken, injured, removed, harmfully altered, damaged, or destroyed shall be determined as follows.  The weight of each undersized fish shall be adjusted to the average weight of a fish on the minimum legal size established by the Marine Fisheries Commission for that species.  The replacement cost shall be calculated based on the greater of either:

(1)           the cost of propagating and rearing the species in a hatchery and the cost of transporting them to areas of suitable habitat; or

(2)           the average annual ex-vessel value of fish species per pound.

(d)  The cost of propagating, rearing and transporting the fish and the average annual ex-vessel value of fish species per pound shall be taken from the Division of Marine Fisheries annual statistical report for the calendar year next preceding the year in which the offense was committed.  When the cost of propagating, rearing or transporting a particular species is not available, replacement costs shall be calculated based upon the average annual ex-vessel value of the species.  When neither the cost of propagating, rearing or transporting a particular species, nor the average annual ex-vessel value of the species is available, replacement costs shall be determined according to the following factors:

(1)           whether the species is classified as endangered or threatened;

(2)           the relative frequency of occurrence of the species in the state;

(3)           the extent of existing habitat suitable for the species within the state;

(4)           the dependency of the species on unique habitat requirements;

(5)           the cost of improving and maintaining suitable habitat for the species;

(6)           the cost of capturing the species in areas of adequate populations and transplanting them to areas of suitable habitat with low populations;

(7)           the availability of the species and the cost of acquisition for restocking purposes;

(8)           the cost of those species which, when released, have a probability of survival in the wild;

(9)           the ratio between the natural life expectancy of the species and the period of its probable survival when, having been reared in a hatchery, it is released to the wild.

(e)  Replacement costs will be assessed for the following fish:

(1)           Alewife (River Herring);

(2)           Amberjacks;

(3)           Anglerfish (Goosefish);

(4)           Bluefish;

(5)           Bonito;

(6)           Butterfish;

(7)           Carp;

(8)           Catfishes;

(9)           Cobia;

(10)         Croaker, Atlantic;

(11)         Cutlassfish, Atlantic;

(12)         Dolphinfish;

(13)         Drum, Black;

(14)         Drum, Red (Channel Bass);

(15)         Eels;

(16)         Flounders;

(17)         Flounders, Fluke;

(18)         Garfish;

(19)         Gizzard Shad;

(20)         Groupers;

(21)         Grunts;

(22)         Hakes;

(23)         Harvestfish;

(24)         Herring, Thread;

(25)         Hickory Shad;

(26)         Hogfish;

(27)         Jacks;

(28)         Kingfishes (Sea Mullet);

(29)         Mackerel, Atlantic;

(30)         Mackerel, King;

(31)         Mackerel, Spanish;

(32)         Menhaden, Atlantic;

(33)         Mullets;

(34)         Perch, White;

(35)         Perch, Yellow;

(36)         Pigfish;

(37)         Pompano;

(38)         Porgies;

(39)         Scup;

(40)         Sea Basses;

(41)         Seatrout, Spotted;

(42)         Shad (American);

(43)         Sharks;

(44)         Sharks, Dogfish;

(45)         Sheepshead;

(46)         Skippers;

(47)         Snappers;

(48)         Spadefish, Atlantic;

(49)         Spot;

(50)         Striped Bass;

(51)         Swellfishes (Puffers);

(52)         Swordfish;

(53)         Tilefish;

(54)         Triggerfish;

(55)         Tuna;

(56)         Wahoo;

(57)         Weakfish (Grey Trout);

(58)         Whiting;

(59)         Wreckfish;

(60)         Unclassified Fish;

(61)         Brown Shrimp;

(62)         Pink Shrimp;

(63)         Rock Shrimp;

(64)         White Shrimp;

(65)         Unclassified Shrimp;

(66)         Clam, Hard;

(67)         Conchs;

(68)         Crabs, Blue, Hard;

(69)         Crabs, Blue, Soft;

(70)         Octopus;

(71)         Oyster;

(72)         Scallop, Bay;

(73)         Scallop, Calico;

(74)         Scallop, Sea;

(75)         Squid;

(76)         Unclassified Shellfish.

(f)  Cost of Investigations:

(1)           Factors to be Considered.  Upon any investigation required as provided by G.S. 143-215.3(a)(7) or by court order for the purpose of determining the cost of replacement of marine and estuarine resources which have been killed, taken, injured, removed, harmfully altered, damaged, or destroyed, the factors to be considered in determining the cost of the investigation are as follows:

(A)          the time expended by the employee or employees making the investigation, including travel time between the place of usual employment and the site of the investigation, and the time required in formulating and rendering the report;

(B)          the cost of service to the state of each employee concerned, including annual salary, hospitalization insurance, and the state's contribution to social security taxes and to the applicable retirement system;

(C)          subsistence of the investigating personnel, including meals, reasonable gratuities, and lodging away from home, when required;

(D)          the cost of all necessary transportation;

(E)           the use or rental of boats and motors, when required;

(F)           the cost of cleaning or repairing any uniform or clothing that may be damaged, soiled or contaminated by reason of completing the investigation;

(G)          the cost of necessary telephonic communications;

(H)          any other expense directly related to and necessitated by the investigation.

(2)           Computation of Costs.  In assessing the cost of time expended in completing the investigation, the time expended by each person required to take part in the investigation shall be recorded in hours, the value of which shall be computed according to the ratio between the annual cost of service of the employee and his total annual working hours (2087 hours reduced by holidays, annual leave entitlement, and earned sick leave).  Other costs shall be assessed as follows:

(A)          subsistence:  the per diem amount for meals, reasonable gratuities, and lodging away from home, not to exceed the then current maximum per diem for state employees;

(B)          transportation:  total mileage by motor vehicle multiplied by:

(i)            the then current rate per mile for travel by state-owned vehicle; or

(ii)           the then current rate per mile for travel by privately owned vehicle, as applicable;

(C)          boat and motor:  ten dollars ($10.00) per hour;

(D)          uniform and clothing cleaning and repair:  actual cost;

(E)           telephonic communications:  actual cost;

(F)           other expenses:  actual cost.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113-134; 113-267; 143B-289.52;

Eff. March 1, 1995;

Recodified from 15A NCAC 3I .0015 Eff. December 17, 1996.