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Part 40 Marine Fish - Commercial Tautog Tagging - Express Terms

Existing subdivision 40.1(a) of 6 NYCRR, "Definitions," is amended to add a new paragraph (7) to read as follows:

(7) The tautog tagging season means the period of time when commercial tautog tags may be applied to legally harvested tautog. The season shall run from April 16 through January 25.

Existing subdivision 40.1(o) of 6 NYCRR is amended to read as follows:

Existing paragraph 40.1(o)(4) is amended to read as follows:

(4) No individual may possess tautog in storage in the waters of the marine and coastal district
in excess of the commercial possession limit[.] unless the individual submits trip reports for all live stored tautog, as specified in subparagraph (5)(iv) of this subdivision, to the department within twenty-four hours of landing. Individuals must retain copies of submitted trip reports for inspection onboard their vessel during the tagging season.

A new paragraph 40.1(o)(5) is added to read as follows:

(5) Commercial Tagging Requirements.

(i) All commercially harvested tautog must be tagged with a single-use serialized tag as specified by the department. Only tags issued for the tautog tagging season in which the fish was harvested may be applied to tautog. Tags must be applied to one of the tautog's gill plates with the tag information visible on the outside of the fish. Tags must be applied prior to any commercially harvested species from the trip being offloaded or transferred to shore, to another vessel, to an in-water storage unit, or to any pier, wharf, dock or similar structure.

(ii) Possession of a valid food fish license, issued pursuant to section 13-0335 of the Environmental Conservation Law, is required to be eligible to order tags. A tag order must be submitted and approved by the department before any tags can be issued. The license holder may be required to pay a fee not to exceed 35 cents per tag issued to the license holder. Any required fee for the tags must be paid in full before tags will be issued to the license holder. No refunds or replacements will be made for tags which are lost, damaged, returned, confiscated, or stolen. After the license holder's initial tag order, the license holder must account for eighty percent of the tags the license holder has been issued during the current tagging season before the license holder's next tag order can be approved. Tags must be accounted for through trip reports or damaged tags returned to the department. Failure to account for over twenty percent of the tags issued to the license holder during the current tagging season will result in the department denying any additional tag orders for the current tagging season. A license holder whose tag order has been denied may submit an excessive loss application, on a form provided by the department, for the opportunity to receive one additional tag order during that tagging season.

(iii) The maximum number of tags that may be issued in a single tag order is the highest historical number of tautog reported as landed in one calendar year by the license holder during one of the previous three calendar years immediately preceding the year of issue. For purposes of determining the amount of reported landings, only the following documented landings will be counted: landings submitted to the department through state vessel trip reports, federal vessel trip reports, and landings submitted electronically through the Atlantic Coastal Cooperative Statistics Program. A license holder who is unable to document a history of tautog landings in one of the three calendar years immediately preceding the year of issue, is eligible to submit one tag order per business week for a maximum of 50 tags per tag order.

(iv) In addition to the trip reporting requirements in subdivision 40.1(c), food fish license
holders harvesting tautog must also include the following information in their trip reports: the tautog tag serial numbers used for the trip, the weight of the tautog (in pounds), and the number of tautog taken. License holders who operate federally permitted vessels and harvest tautog must complete and submit the State copy of their fishing vessel trip report (NOAA Form No. 88-30) to the department for each commercial tautog trip. License holders must submit their final tautog report, along with the NY Tautog Tag Accounting Form, by February 15 for the previous tagging season. License holders who fail to submit complete and accurate reports to the department by February 15 may not be eligible to receive tautog tags for the following tagging season.

(v) It is unlawful to reuse or alter any tautog tag. Any license holder who loses tags must report the loss to the department on their fishing reports or through a form provided by the department within twenty-four hours. Tautog tags are non-transferable, and it is unlawful for any person to possess tautog tags issued to another license holder, except as a designated agent to pick up and deliver a tag order from the department. At no time may a designated agent be in possession of another license holder's tags while onboard a vessel or in possession of tautog.

(vi) All food fish license holders who are issued tautog tags must return any unused or damaged tags to the department by February 15 after the tagging season for which they were issued. A license holder who fails to return unused tags may not be eligible to receive tautog tags for the following tagging season.

(vii) It is unlawful to sell, or offer for sale, untagged whole tautog. It is unlawful to sell, or offer for sale, tautog fillets or parts unless the tagged carcass from which such fillets or parts were removed is present and available for inspection. Possession of untagged tautog, or tautog fillets or parts without the properly tagged carcass, in establishments where fish are sold or offered for sale (including wholesale establishments, retail establishments, and restaurants) is presumptive evidence of the intent to sell, trade, or barter such tautog. All New York harvested tautog which are tagged during the tautog tagging season may be offered for sale, trade, or barter through March 15. After March 15, tautog tagged during the previous tautog tagging season must not be offered for sale, trade or barter.

(viii) Tautog legally harvested from other states, that are tagged with serially numbered tags provided by the state of origin, may be sold or offered for sale if the tautog meets all applicable provisions of the Environmental Conservation Law.