Section 9-2-4

Powers and duties as to seafoods, etc.

(a) The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources shall have full jurisdiction and control of all seafoods existing or living in the waters of Alabama and of all public and natural oyster reefs and oyster bottoms of the State of Alabama, and it shall ordain, promulgate and enforce all rules, regulations and orders deemed by it to be necessary for the protection, propagation or conservation of the same.

(b) The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources may by order duly made and published prescribe the manner of taking or catching, the time when and designate the places from which seafoods may or may not be taken or caught during certain periods of the year, or entirely, as it may deem to be for the best interest of the seafood industry.

(c) It shall have full authority to prohibit the catching or taking of oysters from reefs designated by it by order duly made and promulgated during the entire open season or any part thereof and may open and close said reefs or portions thereof to tonging or dredging, or both, and at any time deemed by it to be to the best interest of the public welfare.

(d) It shall receive and audit the accounts of oysters bought and caught of all canners and dealers and the accounts of all inspectors, employees and members of said department and of all expenses incident to carrying into effect this title, and shall see that all privilege taxes and license fees are paid, that the inspectors and other officers and employees faithfully discharge their duties and that all provisions of this title are properly complied with and enforced, and the Commissioner of Conservation and Natural Resources shall hear the complaints of any person aggrieved by the action of any officer.

(e) It shall have authority to cooperate with the commissioner of the Bureau of Fisheries of the Department of Commerce of the United States government in the carrying out of the provisions of any act of Congress for the sale, distribution or propagation of all seafoods and the extension of the producing areas thereof.

(f) It shall have authority to make rules and regulations requiring all catchers, factories, purchasers, dealers or any persons dealing in shrimp and oysters to make reports to the department containing the number of barrels caught or sold and any other information said department may require; to designate the dates for opening and closing of the seasons for catching shrimp and the waters from which the same may be taken; to cause surveys to be made of the coastal regions of the State of Alabama for the purpose of determining the economic soundness of the development of the oyster industry in the location; and to make plans and estimates of the cost of such developments and improvements and in connection therewith to enter on any lands, waters and premises for the purpose of making such surveys, soundings and examinations.

(Acts 1935, No. 226, p. 618, §10; Acts 1936-37, Ex. Sess., No. 169, p. 192, §3; Acts 1939, No. 162, p. 255; Code 1940, T. 8, §4.)