50 CFR § 622.225 - Harvest limitations.

§ 622.225 Harvest limitations.

(a) Aquacultured live rock. In the South Atlantic EEZ:

(1) Aquacultured live rock may be harvested only under a permit, as required under § 622.220(a)(3), and aquacultured live rock on a site may be harvested only by the person, or his or her employee, contractor, or agent, who has been issued the aquacultured live rock permit for the site. A person harvesting aquacultured live rock is exempt from the prohibition on taking prohibited coral for such prohibited coral as attaches to aquacultured live rock.

(2) The following restrictions apply to individual aquaculture activities:

(i) No aquaculture site may exceed 1 acre (0.4 ha) in size.

(ii) Material deposited on the aquaculture site -

(A) May not be placed over naturally occurring reef outcrops, limestone ledges, coral reefs, or vegetated areas.

(B) Must be free of contaminants.

(C) Must be nontoxic.

(D) Must be placed on the site by hand or lowered completely to the bottom under restraint, that is, not allowed to fall freely.

(E) Must be placed from a vessel that is anchored.

(F) Must be geologically distinguishable from the naturally occurring substrate and, in addition, may be indelibly marked or tagged.

(iii) A minimum setback of at least 50 ft (15.2 m) must be maintained from natural vegetated or hard bottom habitats.

(3) Mechanically dredging or drilling, or otherwise disturbing, aquacultured live rock is prohibited, and aquacultured live rock may be harvested only by hand.

(4) The following activities are also prohibited: Chipping of aquacultured live rock in the EEZ, possession of chipped aquacultured live rock in or from the EEZ, removal of allowable octocoral or prohibited coral from aquacultured live rock in or from the EEZ, and possession of prohibited coral not attached to aquacultured live rock or allowable octocoral, while aquacultured live rock is in possession. See the definition of “Allowable octocoral” for clarification of the distinction between allowable octocoral and live rock. For the purposes of this paragraph (a)(4), chipping means breaking up reefs, ledges, or rocks into fragments, usually by means of a chisel and hammer.

(5) Not less than 24 hours prior to harvest of aquacultured live rock, the owner or operator of the harvesting vessel must provide the following information to the NMFS Office for Law Enforcement, Southeast Region, St. Petersburg, FL, by telephone (727-824-5344):

(i) Permit number of site to be harvested and date of harvest.

(ii) Name and official number of the vessel to be used in harvesting.

(iii) Date, port, and facility at which aquacultured live rock will be landed.

(b) [Reserved]