SECTION .0200 – LEASES AND FRANCHISES
15A NCAC 03O .0201 STANDARDS and requirements FOR SHELLFISH BOTTOM LEASES AND FRANCHISES AND WATER COLUMN LEASES
(a) All areas of the public bottom underlying Coastal Fishing Waters shall meet the following standards and requirements, in addition to the standards in G.S. 113-202, in order to be deemed suitable for leasing for shellfish cultivation purposes:
(1) the proposed lease area shall not contain a "natural shellfish bed," as defined in G.S. 113-201.1, or have 10 bushels or more of shellfish per acre;
(2) the proposed lease area shall not be closer than 100 feet to a developed shoreline, except no minimum setback is required when the area to be leased borders the applicant's property, the property of "riparian owners" as defined in G.S. 113-201.1 who have consented in a notarized statement, or is in an area bordered by undeveloped shoreline; and
(3) the proposed lease area shall not be less than one‑half acre and shall not exceed 10 acres.
(b) To be suitable for leasing for aquaculture purposes, water columns superjacent to leased bottom shall meet the standards in G.S. 113‑202.1 and water columns superjacent to franchises recognized pursuant to G.S. 113-206 shall meet the standards in G.S. 113‑202.2.
(c) Franchises recognized pursuant to G.S. 113-206 and shellfish bottom leases shall be terminated unless they meet the following requirements, in addition to the standards in and as allowed by G.S. 113-202:
(1) they produce and market 10 bushels of shellfish per acre per year; and
(2) they are planted with 25 bushels of seed shellfish per acre per year or 50 bushels of cultch per acre per year, or a combination of cultch and seed shellfish where the percentage of required cultch planted and the percentage of required seed shellfish planted totals at least 100 percent.
(d) Water column leases be terminated unless they meet the following requirements, in addition to the standards in and as allowed by G.S. 113-202.1 and 113-202.2:
(1) they produce and market 40 bushels of shellfish per acre per year; or
(2) the underlying bottom is planted with 100 bushels of cultch or seed shellfish per acre per year.
(e) The following standards shall be applied to determine compliance with Paragraphs (c) and (d) of this Rule:
(1) Only shellfish marketed, planted, or produced as defined in 15A NCAC 03I .0101 as the fishing activities "shellfish marketing from leases and franchises," "shellfish planting effort on leases and franchises," or "shellfish production on leases and franchises" shall be included in the lease and franchise reports required by Rule .0207 of this Section.
(2) If more than one lease or franchise is used in the production of shellfish, one of the leases or franchises used in the production of the shellfish shall be designated as the producing lease or franchise for those shellfish. Each bushel of shellfish shall be produced by only one lease or franchise. Shellfish transplanted between leases or franchises shall be credited as planting effort on only one lease or franchise.
(3) Production and marketing information and planting effort information shall be compiled and averaged separately to assess compliance with the requirements of this Rule. The lease or franchise shall meet both the production requirement and the planting effort requirement within the dates set forth in G.S. 113-202.1 and G.S. 202.2 to be deemed in compliance for shellfish bottom leases. The lease or franchise shall meet either the production requirement or the planting effort requirement within the dates set forth in G.S. 113-202.1 and G.S. 202.2 to be deemed in compliance for water column leases.
(4) All bushel measurements shall be in standard U.S. bushels.
(5) In determining production and marketing averages and planting effort averages for information not reported in bushel measurements, the following conversion factors shall be used:
(A) 300 oysters, 400 clams, or 400 scallops equal one bushel; and
(B) 40 pounds of scallop shell, 60 pounds of oyster shell, 75 pounds of clam shell, or 90 pounds of fossil stone equal one bushel.
(6) Production and marketing rate averages shall be computed irrespective of transfer of the lease or franchise. The production and marketing rates shall be averaged for the following situations using the time periods described:
(A) for an initial bottom lease or franchise, over the consecutive full calendar years remaining on the bottom lease or franchise contract after December 31 following the second anniversary of the initial bottom lease or franchise;
(B) for a renewal bottom lease or franchise, over the consecutive full calendar years beginning January 1 of the final year of the previous bottom lease or franchise term and ending December 31 of the final year of the current bottom lease or franchise contract;
(C) for a water column lease, over the first five-year period for an initial water column lease and over the most recent five-year period thereafter for a renewal water column lease; or
(D) for a bottom lease or franchise issued an extension period under Rule .0208 of this Section, over the most recent five-year period.
(7) In the event that a portion of an existing lease or franchise is obtained by a new owner, the production history for the portion obtained shall be a percentage of the originating lease or franchise production equal to the percentage of the area of lease or franchise site obtained to the area of the originating lease or franchise.
(f) Persons holding five or more acres under all shellfish bottom leases and franchises combined shall meet the requirements established in Paragraph (c) of this Rule before submitting an application for additional shellfish lease acreage to the Division of Marine Fisheries.
History Note: Authority G.S. 113‑134; 113‑201; 113‑202; 113‑202.1; 113‑202.2; 113-206; 143B‑289.52;
Eff. January 1, 1991;
Amended Eff. May 1, 1997; March 1, 1995; March 1, 1994; September 1, 1991;
Temporary Amendment Eff. October 1, 2001;
Amended Eff. May 1, 2017; October 1, 2008; April 1, 2003.