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Delaware General AssemblyDelaware RegulationsMonthly Register of RegulationsOctober 2013

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7 DE Admin. Code 3200
7 DE Admin. Code 3200: Horseshoe Crabs, to include revisions to §3201
(Definitions) and to add a new §3216, to wit:
This Order considers proposed regulations to amend 7 DE Admin. Code 3200: Horseshoe Crabs, to include revisions to §3201 (Definitions), and to add a new §3216, to wit: Prohibition on Possession or Use of Asian Horseshoe Crabs. The Department's Division of Fish and Wildlife commenced the regulatory development process with Start Action Notice 2013-06. The Department published its initial proposed regulation Amendments in the July 1, 2013 Delaware Register of Regulations, and held a public hearing on July 25, 2013.
The purpose of this action seeks to define and prevent the possession and use of Asian horseshoe crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, Tachypleus gigas, and Tachypleus tridentatus) to protect human health and the shellfish resources of the State of Delaware. It should be noted that Delaware's Council on Shell Fisheries has endorsed the Department's development of regulations regarding this important issue.
Atlantic horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) are extensively used as bait in Delaware's American eel and whelk pot fisheries. The demand for horseshoe crabs as bait, as well as for their ecological functions, prompted the development of an extensive coastwide management program. The high demand and reduced availability of horseshoe crabs (particularly female horseshoe crabs) has driven prices very high in recent years, and has motivated seafood dealers in New York to import non-native Asian horseshoe crabs for use as bait in the American eel and whelk fisheries.
There is concern that these non-native Asian horseshoe crabs may host parasites and pathogens that could have severe negative impacts on Delaware's native horseshoe crab population (Limulus polyphemus), which is of extreme ecological and economic importance in the Delaware Bay. The Department is also concerned of the potential impacts of these parasites and pathogens upon other native species. In addition, the Department is aware that at least one species of Asian horseshoe crab, C. rotundicauda, is known to accumulate the powerful neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX), which does not degrade by freezing or high temperature (cooking). Poisonings from this neurotoxin have been known to result in death in individuals that consume it through eating contaminated fish and shellfish. The potential for TTX accumulation in eel and whelk, as well as subsequent risk to human health, is unknown.
The Department has the statutory basis and legal authority to act with regard to the proposed amendments to 7 DE Admin. Code 3200, Horseshoe Crabs, pursuant to 7 Del.C. §1902(a). It should be noted that no members of the public attended the public hearing held by the Department on July 25, 2013, nor was any public comment received by the Department at any time during the course of this promulgation. Proper notice of the hearing was provided as required by law.
6.) The Department shall submit this Order approving the final regulation to the Delaware Register of Regulations for publication in its next available issue, and provide such other notice as the law and regulation require and the Department determines is appropriate.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
1.0 The following definitions shall apply to terms in 7 Del.C. Ch. 27 relative to horseshoe crabs.
1.1 "Asian Horseshoe Crabs" shall mean any of the following species Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, Tachypleus gigas, and Tachypleus tridentatus.
1.12 “Bait Saving Device” shall mean any device that when so deployed in or on a pot reduces either the rate at which bait, meaning horseshoe crabs or parts thereof, must be replenished or reduces the number or quantity of horseshoe crabs used as bait.
1.23 “Collect” shall mean to take live horseshoe crabs by any means other than by dredge.
1.34 “Dispose of said Crabs Properly” shall mean bury on the beach, incorporate into soil as fertilizer or any other method approved by the Department.
1.45 “Dredge” shall mean to use any device to gather, scrape, scoop, fish for or otherwise take bottom dwelling horseshoe crabs.
1.56 “Personal, Non-Commercial Use” shall mean to be used as food, fertilizer or bait or otherwise properly disposed without trading, bartering, or selling by one individual to another, or without transporting, shipping, or causing to be transported or shipped, out of state.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
2.0 It shall be lawful for persons with valid horseshoe crab collecting permits and eel licensees and their alternates to collect adult male horseshoe crabs on Monday through Friday from state owned lands to the east of state road No. 89 (Port Mahon Road) from 12:01 a.m. on June 8 and continuing through midnight on July 31.
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
(Penalty Section 7 Del.C. §2705(b))
Last Updated: December 31 1969 19:00:00.
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