Section 9-12-24

Authority and procedure for leasing of bottoms in natural oyster reefs; cancellation and forfeiture of leases; disposition of proceeds from leases.

In addition to the powers heretofore enumerated, the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources shall have power to lease to any citizen of Alabama or firm or corporation organized under the laws of this state and doing business within its limits, for the purpose of oyster culture, any bottom of the waters of the state in a natural oyster bed or reef in such areas and at such prices and under such conditions as he may determine. Such persons, firms or corporations desiring to avail themselves of the privileges of leasing oyster bottoms shall make application in writing to the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources accompanied by such fee as may be prescribed by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources, whereupon a competent surveyor, selected by the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources at the expense of the applicant, shall stake off the parcel to be leased, forwarding a description thereof to the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources shall thereupon sign and issue to said applicant a lease thereon, upon the payment in advance of the rental or lease price, which shall likewise be paid in advance at the beginning of each rental year thereafter during the continuation of the lease. The failure to pay the rental price or to plant less than the number of barrels upon the leased land agreed to or the failure to conform to any conditions of the lease shall ipso facto cancel said lease and shall forfeit to the state the leased bottoms. All funds derived through the leasing of oyster bottoms shall be paid into the Seafoods Fund of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

(Code 1896, §2774; Code 1907, §2727; Code 1923, §2725; Acts 1935, No. 226, p. 618, §11; Code 1940, T. 8, §114.)