Presenter: Joedy Gray

Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Action
Health Certification of Native Shellfish
January 1998

I. Discussion: Staff is proposing new §§69.75 and 69.77 concerning Health Certification of Native Shellfish. The proposed new sections are intended to protect wild native populations of shellfish from depletion due to disease introduced from cultured native shrimp stocks.

Proposed new §69.75 will add the definitions for the terms "disease," "disease-free," "private facility," "waste" and "water in the state." Proposed new §69.77 will require immediate notification of the Department and disease testing in the event of mortalities in cultured native shellfish stocks, and will provide for quarantine of pathogen-infected cultured native shellfish.

The new rules were proposed under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §61.052(b), §61.055, and §77.007. Because of occurrences of White spot disease in native shrimp stocks utilized for aquaculture purposes in the state, and the potential for escapement of these stocks, the Commission has determined the need for a proclamation under §77.007(a). As required under Chapter 77, these proposed rules were presented to the Shrimp Advisory Board who unanimously supported the proposal. Additionally, public hearings were held in Brownsville, Rockport, Port Lavaca, and Galveston prior to the January 22, 1998 Commission meeting to solicit public comment.

The proposed new rules were published in the October 17, 1997 issue of the Texas Register (22 TexReg 10244). Staff will address public comments concerning the proposed changes prior to the January Commission Meeting.

II. Recommendation: The staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts proposed new rules concerning Health Certification of Native Shellfish as shown in Exhibit A."

Attachments - 2

1. Exhibit A - Proposed New Rules Concerning Native Shellfish
2. Exhibit B - Fiscal Note

(Exhibit B is available upon request.)


Commission Agenda Item No. 9
Exhibit A

Proposed Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) proposes new §§69.75 and 69.77 concerning Health Certification of Native Shellfish. The proposed new sections are intended to protect wild native populations of shellfish from depletion due to disease introduced from cultured stocks.

Proposed new §69.75 provides definitions for the terms "disease", "disease-free", "private facility", "waste" and "water in the state". Proposed new §69.77 will require immediate notification of the Department and disease testing in the event of mortalities in cultured native shellfish stocks and will provide for quarantine of pathogen-infected cultured native shellfish.

2. Fiscal Note.

Mr. Robin Riechers, staff economist, has determined that during the first five years these sections as proposed are in effect, there will be fiscal implications to state government as a result of administering and enforcing the sections. There will be no fiscal implications for units of local government.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Those small businesses required to institute quarantine conditions may incur costs associated with the establishment and maintenance of quarantine conditions and may incur losses associated with the postponement of movement or sale of the quarantined animals until conditions are met enabling the removal of the quarantine. Mr. Riechers also determined that for the first five years these sections as proposed are in effect, the public benefit anticipated as a result of enforcement of and compliance with the sections will be increased protection of aquatic animal life from depletion due to disease. TPWD has not filed a local impact statement with the Texas Workforce Commission as this agency has determined that the sections as proposed will not impact local economies.

A Takings Impact Assessment of these rules was performed pursuant to the requirements of Government Code §2007.043. The stated purpose of these rules is to protect wild native populations of shellfish from depletion due to disease introduced by cultured stocks. Promulgation and enforcement of these rules will not place a burden on private real property because they do not restrict or limit a right that would otherwise exist in the absence of the rules.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Written comments on the proposed rules may be submitted to Mr. Joedy Gray, Inland Fisheries Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744, (512) 389-8037. Please fax comments to (512) 389-4388. Written comments must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. 30 days from the date of publication of this proposal in the Texas Register.

5. Statutory Authority.

These sections are proposed under the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, §61.052(b) which provides the Commission with the power to regulate the means, methods, and places in which it is lawful to possess aquatic animal life, §61.055 which authorizes the Commission to amend its proclamations to prevent depletion of aquatic animal life or at any time it finds the facts warrant a change, and §77.007 which authorizes the Commission to regulate the possession of shrimp.

§69.75. Definitions.

Disease - contagious pathogens or injurious parasites which may be a threat to the health of natural populations of aquatic organisms.

Disease-Free - a status, based on the result of an examination conducted by a state-approved shellfish disease specialist that certifies a group of aquatic organisms as being free of contagious pathogens or injurious parasites.

Private Facility - a pond, tank, cage, or other structure capable of holding native shellfish in confinement wholly within or on private land or water or wholly within or on permitted public land or water.

Quarantine condition - confinement of native shellfish such that neither the shellfish nor the water in which they are or were maintained comes into contact with other fish or shellfish.

Waste - waste shall have the same meaning as in Chapter 26, §26.001(5) of the Texas Water Code.

Water in the state - water in the state shall have the same meaning as in Chapter 26, §26.001(6) of the Texas Water Code.

§69.77. Health Certification of Native Shellfish.

(a) Any person in possession of native shellfish stocks held on a private facility for the purpose of aquaculture or scientific research and whose stocks experience mortalities shall immediately:

(1) place all private facilities holding such stocks under quarantine condition;

(2) notify the department of such mortalities;

(3) send samples of the shellfish from the affected portions of the private facility to a department approved shellfish disease specialist for analysis.

(b) Results of the required analyses shall be forwarded to the department immediately upon receipt. The private facility, including all infected shellfish stock, shall be required to remain under quarantine condition until the department removes the quarantine in writing or authorizes in writing an appropriate disposal method based on the results of the required analyses.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency's regulatory authority.

Issued in Austin, Texas on

William D. Harvey, Ph.D.
Regulatory Coordinator
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
1-800-792-1112, extension 4642 or
512-389-4642


Top of Page
Back to Top
Back to Top