Town of Barnstable commercial shellfishing permits are granted under the authority of the Town Manager for the taking of shellfish for sale or other consideration, issued to persons, other than aliens, having attained their 16th birthday and who are domiciled in the Town of Barnstable. When the holder of a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit is no longer domiciled in the Town of Barnstable, said Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit shall be void.
[Amended 9-21-2004; 11-23-2005; 9-30-2010]
Limitation of available licenses. Commercial shellfishing licenses shall be issued each year only to commercial shellfish license holders of the preceding year who apply for license renewal. Commercial shellfish license renewals must be applied for between January 1 and January 31.
New commercial shellfishing license procedure:
New commercial shellfishing permits may be issued at the rate of one new permit for every one nonrenewed permit or permit that is void as a result of other causes (i.e., forfeiture, death, etc).
To become eligible for a new commercial permit you must apply, pursuant to these regulations, between January 1 and January 31 and pay the nonrefundable application fee of $5. Upon the hand delivery of a completed legitimate application, and payment of the fee, the applicant's name will be entered into a lottery. On February 1, the applicant names will be drawn by lottery to determine the sequential chronological order that applicants acquire a permit. On February 1, the Natural Resources Office shall post on the bulletin board outside its building, on Phinney's Lane, a chronological list of applicants as determined by lottery eligible for a commercial permit as determined by vacancy.
If an existing commercial permit becomes void, during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31) for which the permit was issued, the next eligible applicant as determined by the lottery will be notified, by mail, of the availability of a permit. The applicant shall have 10 days from the date of notification to pay the balance of the permit fee or the permit will be offered to the next eligible applicant as determined by the lottery. The new permit shall be available within 10 days, thereafter, to be picked up. New permits shall be issued for a given commercial shellfishing permit year (April 1 through March 31). The applicant list shall be dissolved each year as of December 31.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts commercial shellfishing permit. This permit is required by Massachusetts General Law to dig or take shellfish within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for commercial purposes and required prior to issuance of the Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit.
Apprentice commercial shellfishing permit. The Town Manager or Shellfish Constable may issue an apprentice commercial shellfishing permit to a resident child who is sponsored by a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfishing permit holder. Said child must be under the age of 16, and said apprentice commercial shellfishing permit shall expire on the child's 16th birthday. The apprentice shall assist only the sponsor, and only in the harvest of the sponsor's catch limit. The apprentice shall not harvest shellfish without the accompaniment of the sponsor. Upon the expiration of the apprentice commercial shellfishing permit the holder of said permit may apply for a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfishing permit pursuant to these rules and regulations only if the child had held the apprentice commercial shellfishing permit for two years prior to their 16th birthday, can demonstrate having worked in the shellfish industry for at least 400 hours, and has successfully completed a Coast Guard boaters safety course. The allowances to an apprentice permitted under this regulation are distinct and separate from the stipulations that apply to new applicants under Subsection A(2) above.
Commercial shellfishing permits expire on March 31 each year.
Unlawful harvest without a commercial shellfishing permit. No person shall take or attempt to take shellfish for sale or other commercial purpose, unless said person is the holder of a valid Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit. It shall be prima facie evidence that persons shellfishing on a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit are utilizing said permit for commercial purposes, and are subject to all regulations governing such use. This shall not apply to grant holders while on their licensed grant.
Catch report. A catch report for the calendar year shall be submitted to Natural Resources, on forms provided, no later than January 15 annually. Failure to submit a catch report will result in a fine of no more than $500 as per the determination of Natural Resources, and may result in a suspension of the Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit for one year, commencing the next commercial permit year (April 1 to March 31).
Assisting in commercial harvest prohibited. A person shall not assist in the commercial harvest or culling of shellfish unless said person holds a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit, unless otherwise stated.
Each applicant for a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit shall fill out and submit an application form, provided by Natural Resources, and an application fee of $5; said fee is not refundable but will be applied to the permit fee when said permit is picked up. Attached to the application shall be a copy of:
Commonwealth of Massachusetts commercial shellfish permit, valid for the year being applied for.
Documentation to verify the applicant is domiciled in the Town of Barnstable. This may be current real estate tax, mortgage or lease and copy of motor vehicle registration. (A driver's license is not proof of domicile.) The burden of proof is on the applicant.
Validated catch report stub from the year previous to the year being applied for.
Application window. Each applicant for a Town of Barnstable commercial permit must apply for said permit between January 1 and January 31 annually. Applications will not be accepted after January 31. After paying the initial application fee of $5 for the commercial permit, the applicant must pick up and pay in full for said permit within 90 days after closing of the application window.
Address change. Should any commercial permit holder's address change during the commercial permit year, he/she must contact Natural Resources in writing with said address change.
Note: If any dates stated in § 407-13B fall on a Saturday, Sunday or holiday recognized by the Town of Barnstable, the next Marine and Environmental Affairs Division business day shall apply.
Harvest hours. No person shall take or attempt to take shellfish or seaworms during the nighttime hours, between sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise, except as otherwise noted utilizing the hydraulic method (see hydraulic method restrictions).
Tagging shellfish and display of shellfish permit.
Possession of shellfish. No person shall possess shellfish in excess of daily commercial limit in or on the waters of the Town of Barnstable, or while landing their catch.
Landing of shellfish. After the completion of harvest, all shellfish harvested in the Town of Barnstable under a commercial permit shall be landed at a Town landing. The word "landed" as used herein shall mean the location where shellfish are removed from the shoreline to any point of land above the mean high-water line. This regulation shall not apply when ice conditions prevent the use of a boat.
Shall not take family limit in addition. A commercial shellfish permit holder shall not take in any one day shellfish in excess of the commercial quantity allowed by statute or regulation, regardless of the fact that he or a member of his family may hold a family shellfish permit.
Wet storage. The wet storage of shellfish in Town of Barnstable waters is prohibited, except with the written permission of Natural Resources.
Skin or scuba diving. All persons skin or scuba diving for the commercial harvest of shellfish shall display the diver-down flag and, upon request, produce a Town of Barnstable commercial shellfish permit.
Northside commercial shellfishing area restriction. The commercial harvest of shellfish shall be allowed east of a line extending north from the Barnstable Yacht Club pier, to a post and sign at Green Point, Sandy Neck, and West of Beach Point, Sandy Neck, except as otherwise noted or amended.
Hydraulic method or hand plunger shall be used to harvest subtidal soft shell clams, jackknife clams and common razor clams only on the Southside of the Town. The harvest of other species of shellfish utilizing the hydraulic method is prohibited.
Temperature restrictions. Dry digging for soft shell clams and quahogs is prohibited when the air temperature is 28° F. or below. However, the commercial harvest of mussels, the subtidal harvest of quahogs and the use of the hydraulic method or a hand plunger to subtidally harvest soft shell clams, jackknife clams (Tagelus plebeius) and common razor clams (Ensis directus) on the Southside will be allowed.
Backfilling of dig holes. All dig sites shall be backfilled when dry digging all shellfish.
Mainland thatch conservation. The digging of shellfish in the thatch (grass) on the mainland shore is prohibited. Dig sites in the thatch on flats and islands shall be repaired.
Shucking restriction. All shellfish harvested shall be brought ashore in the shell.
Transport of seed restriction. No person shall transport or move seed clams, quahogs, or scallops, except that a five-percent (by count) of seed shall be allowed as a margin of error.
Area closures. No person shall take or attempt to take shellfish from a closed area with the exception of scallops. Shellfishing for any purpose is prohibited in these areas (see also shellfish area status). Areas may be posted closed from time to time by Natural Resources or the Board of Health due to high concentrations of seed, point source pollution or health hazard, propagation projects or other purposes. The taking of shellfish from these areas is prohibited. Also, the taking of shellfish from any shellfish culturing gear or tampering with said gear deployed by public and/or private entities on approved designated areas is prohibited. Said approved designated areas shall be considered closed areas.
Inspections. All shellfish and sea worms harvested in the Town of Barnstable are subject to inspection. Failure to display shellfish upon demand of enforcement personnel shall be a violation.
Destruction of shellfish or shellfish habitat. The willful destruction of shellfish and/or shellfish habitat is prohibited and shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $1,000 per incident, and $1,000 per day for any such destruction which continues over more than a twenty-four-hour period of time.